HomeNewsOrange launches its UK 3G network

    Orange launches its UK 3G network


    Mobile Office Card — first 3G product launched across UK in July; FreeMove alliance — roaming in Spain, Italy and Germany at launch; SonyEricsson and LG named as first 3G handset vendors in UK & FR

    Orange, the mobile arm of the France Telecom Group, today
    announced  the  launch of its first next generation high-speed network, products and  tariffs,  designed  to  take  its  UK customers toward a mobile broadband experience across the largest integrated network in the country.

    At  launch  on  19  July,  Orange will have the most extensive integrated 2.5/3G network in the UK, with 66% of the population covered by its high-speed network, ensuring  that  even  if  customers  move out of 3G coverage, they will not lose their  connection  to  the  network.  Orange  has  3G  coverage  in major cities including  London,  Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol, Belfast, Glasgow, Sheffield, Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Leeds. Orange will also be taking advantage  of  its  position  within  the  FreeMove alliance, giving UK business customers  the  ability  to  access  3G  services in Spain, Italy and Germany at launch,  as  well as the 3G network of Orange in France. Orange and its FreeMove partners have licences in 14 markets across Europe.

    Orange  is  developing  a  range of business services, leveraging the high-speed network, to give companies a faster and more productive way to work on the move. The  first  of  these  to  market  will  be the 3G Mobile Office Card in the UK.
    Targeted  at corporate and small business customers, it will be available to buy in  the  UK  from  19  July,  complete  with  a transparent tariff structure and offering speeds of up to 384 kbps. Already tried and tested by over 60 corporate and  medium-sized  businesses  (over  500  individual users) in the UK, it comes complete  with  an easy-to-use ?dashboard? interface and will be compatible with the  majority  of  laptop PC?s offering faster access to email, the Internet and intranet  services as well as specific sales-force and business critical company information.

    Orange  will  be  launching  its  next generation services in France this Autumn (2004)  with coverage available in over 20 cities. Almost 5,000 Orange customers in   France   are  already  trialling  video  calling,  video  messaging,  video
    answerphone,  fixed-to-mobile  video  calls,  web  conferencing  and  live video services  in  many cities across France, including Toulouse, Lille, Bordeaux and Cannes.

    Sanjiv  Ahuja,  CEO  of  the  Orange  Group, said: “With the launch of our first high-speed  network,  we’ve  begun  to  light  up  our map of Europe.  This is a milestone event for our customers, for Orange, and for the entire France Telecom Group.  We  are  now mobilising the broadband experience, delivering world class products   and  services  across  our  high-speed  networks  throughout  Europe, leveraging  the  experience  we  have  gained  through  trials with thousands of
     ustomers  in the wireless environment, as well as the five years experience theroup has gained providing fixed broadband services.”

    He  added:  “Today  brings  us  a vital step closer to realising our vision of a truly  integrated  communication  offering,  giving  our  customers  simple  and convenient ways to access the people, places and content they want.”

    The  Orange  3G  Mobile  Office  Card  solution  utilises  the Merlin U530 data Wireless  PC Modem Card from Lucent Technologies and Novatel Wireless. It offers an  intuitive  software interface which is used to access high-speed, wide area, wireless  connectivity on the UMTS network. A range of competitive tariffs will be  available  from  Orange in the UK, including a flat rate tariff for just £75 per  month. The 3G Mobile Office Card is available from £85 (excluding VAT). See
    appendix for full tariff details.

    Business  customers  will  benefit  from the support of a ?3G data card start-up team,  who  are tasked with ensuring that the 3G Mobile Office Card is correctly activated  and  configured  to  work  smoothly  with a company’s own network and security  systems. Once up and running, ongoing 24-hour customer support will be available  from  a new specialist data support team. The Orange 3G Mobile Office Card  is  the  first solution of an extensive range of products and services for
    corporate  customers  which  will be launched this year across Europe as part of France Telecom’s integrated Business Everywhere offering.

    John  Allwood,  Executive Vice-President of Orange UK, said: “The Orange network in  the  UK now provides our customers with the most comprehensive integrated 3G coverage  in  the  country,  as  well  as  the  best value tariffs available and services that can be used in more places than with any other network.”

    “We  began  testing  our next generation network in Bristol five years ago. Back then,  Orange  became  the  first  mobile  company  to  make  a  call  across  a next-generation  network.  Now,  with  half  a  decade  of  rigorous testing and
     experience  behind  us,  we are launching our new services to customers offering them the most effective, compelling and integrated solution available.

    “By  focusing  on  every  aspect  of  the customer’s interaction with us, we are setting  the  industry  bench-mark,  delivering  the  best network coverage, the smoothest  network  handover,  transparent  pricing,  fast  access to compelling
    services and the most comprehensive after-sales care.”

    The Orange 3G Mobile Office Card will be compatible with the majority of laptops PC’s,  providing  the  flexibility and choice Orange business customers require.  Nick  Eades,  Marketing  Director  for Fujitsu Siemens Computers Ltd, said: “The
    growth  of  mobile  data solutions based on new 3G services is certain to enable competitive  advantage  for  many businesses. Early experiences of our LIFEBOOK range of notebook computers confirms the levels of performance and simplicity of operation from the Orange 3G package which users have been waiting for.”

    Orange  will  be  launching  next generation handsets and services in the UK and France  later  in  the  year, with SonyEricsson and LG announced as its first 3G handset vendors.

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