HomeInsightsIs Alcatel winning out with Orange?

    Is Alcatel winning out with Orange?


    Those who have followed the 3G contract announcements coming out of France will note with interest Alcatel’s announcement about its role as primary service supplier to Orange for its Ville Pilotes UMTS project. (see link below)

    The situation as it stood was that Orange was conducting trial 3G networks in three cities, Cannes, Lille and Toulouse. These trials were divided up between Nortel, Alcatel and Nokia, who were installing and managing the networks in each of the cities respectively.

    But this announcement appears to position Alcatel as the main service supplier integrator across all three projects. The service package includes such goodies as fixed-to-mobile video telephony, web conferencing, video  messaging,  online  gaming, a  3G video portal and instant messaging.

    Alcatel appears to have sewn up the deal for the supply of application servers, service platforms, and management of service quality and performance. It is also integrating the new services into Orange’s existing service platforms.

    This growing relationship is one that will not surprise those who have seen Orange France increasingly become an arm of France Telecom (FT) – a drift that many blamed for the recent departure of its ceo.

    FT’s Thierry Breton said at Cannes that he saw Orange as a strategic provider of wireless broadband, alongside FT’s fixed line efforts, and that the long term goal was to harmonise broadband service delivery platforms across the fixed and mobile networks. In that scenario, Orange becomes just one access provider to a range of branded multi-media services.

    If FT genuinely wants to harmonise its broadband service delivery platform it is unsurprising that Alcatel whould be given the job of doing it. But the mobile operator  and its suppliers, still have a long way to go before that vision, which must be based on IP, will near reality.

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    Orange France