Tag: Orange

Castel kicks competitors into touch

Detail showing fleeing Persians (King Darius centre) from an AncGreat Notley based Castel said it has installed audio-video interconnections at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais – a sports stadium that cost 415 million euro.

The stadium is pretty fan friendly.

Castel said Orange has installed a wi-fi network using 500 routers that lets 20,000 people be connected at the same time. The network also includes 350 IPTVs so people can watch replays and choose incidents that thrill and excite them.

Castel’s contribution to the network is ninety audio-video intercom stations from its CAP IP suite. They use colour cameras which generate high res images using H.264 compression.

Security is provided by Genetec and Castel, which have a strategic relationship with each other.

Atmane Bensghir, Castel’s business development manager, said: “IT and intercom no longer need to be separated.”

Orange disconnects with its Israeli mobile phone


OrangeA huge falling out between Orange and the Israeli mobile phone operator Partner Communications has resulted in the French telco withdrawing its licensing from the outfit.

Israel protested to France after Orange’s Chief Executive, Stephane Richard, said earlier this month he would terminate the licensing arrangement with Partner “tomorrow morning” if the contracts allowed.

The source of the spat was the economic activities in Israeli settlements of the occupied Palestinian territories which France and the European Union consider illegal.

Richard later apologised to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and said his comments, made during a visit to Egypt, had been misinterpreted to suggest that he supported an outright boycott of Israel for political reasons.

Orange said the comments as reflecting a broader desire and strategy of not licensing its brand where it was not directly in control of the business.

Partner pays a fee to use Orange’s brand in Israel.

Under the new deal, if Partner does not exercise its right to terminate their brand agreement within 12 months, either Partner or Orange could terminate it during the following 12 months, Orange said in a statement.

If it all goes south then Orange will set itself up in Israel. Orange deputy CEO, Pierre Louette, said in the statement that Israel was a strategically important country and the company had a long-term commitment to it.

It had paid Partner $44.7 million to go away and it is estimated that an additional $50 million could be paid out should the agreement be terminated within 24 months.

Future not bright for Orange

OrangeFrench telco Orange is not doing that well and has surrendered on the idea of getting a recovery before 2018.

Orange has announced it would take at least until then for sales and core operating profit to exceed 2014 levels as pressure would continue in its domestic market.

Chief Executive Stephane Richard said he thought the low point for group sales would come next year, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) would bottom this year.

“Our revenues have been falling for five years. We’ve been through a major re-set in France and the impact is still being felt, although most of our customers have passed over to the lower prices,” he said on a conference call.

His cunning plan calls for Orange to invest more in its networks in the coming years, putting more than $15.87 billion in to mobile and fixed networks upgrades to boost broadband speeds as it seeks to differentiate from competitors with better quality of service.

Cost cutting efforts will also continue with a further three billion euros in gross savings targeted through 2018 on par with an earlier cost cutting plan that was lauded by investors.


BT finalises EE take over

Kitten-Kong BT has finalised its deal to buy EE from Orange and Deutsche Telekom for £12.5 billion.

According to the International Business Times , the deal, is to be officially completed by the end of the year, will be settled in cash and shares.

While the deal has been rumoured for a while, it is now official.  It looks like once the agreement has been settled, the German Deutsche Telekom will have a 12 percent stake in the company and will be given the right to appoint one board member.

Orange will also get a four percent stake.

BT will raise £1 billion of the deal through issuing new shares and debt financing, with the view of making £360 million of capital expenditure in four years savings as a result of the deal.

BT CEO Gavin Patterson said: “This is a major milestone for BT as it will allow us to accelerate our mobility plans and increase our investment in them. The UK’s leading 4G network will now dovetail with the UK’s biggest fibre network, helping to create the leading converged communications provider in the UK. Consumers and businesses will benefit from new products and services as well as from increased investment and innovation.”

The deal comes after broadband providers have started to offer quad-play packages, providing customers with TV, broadband, landline and mobile services in one bundle.

BT will now join Virgin Media and TalkTalk, who already offer these deals to UK consumers.

CEO of EE, Olaf Swantee added: “Joining BT represents an exciting next stage for our company, customer, and people. In the last few years alone, we have built the UK’s biggest, fastest and best 4G network, significantly advancing the digital communications infrastructure for people and businesses across Britain.”

Following in BT’s footsteps is Sky, who struck a deal with Three Mobile last week to offer similar quad-play deals in 2016.

Hutchison to buy O2

PhoneConsolidation in the UK mobile industry is certain after Hutchison Whampoa said it will buy O2 for £10.25 billion.
O2 is currently owned by Spanish telco Telefonica.
Hutchison already owns the UK Three network.
O2 is the second biggest mobile operator in the UK, with around 22 million subscribers.
Just a few weeks ago we reported that BT entered talks with EE, with a view to acquiring it.
BT then ruled out buying O2. It is still in talks with EE over acquiring that business, with a view to becoming a dominant player in the UK market.
Hutchison more or less started off the mobile phone business in the UK with the launch of Orange.


Balabit box offers security superguard

praetorianHungarian security company Balabit showed off its Shell Control Box (SCB) at a press gig this  week.

This is a clever gizmo which sits between a data centre and people accessing the data which has an active alert function and which can reconstruct changes people have made to systems as well as preclude certain users from doing different things.

Gabor Marosvari, product marketing manager at Balabit, showed data that demonstrated that 88 percent of internal problems and caused by abuse of privileges,  and 71 percent of all misuses are made using LANs, with 21 percent of those using remote access.

Firewalls, security information and event management (SIEMs) and password managers aren’t enough to protect systems, Balabit claims.  Balabit’s SCB, however, controls privileged user access to remote servers, heads off malicious actions at the gorge, records activities and reports actions for compliance and decision support, it claims. If an intrusion happens, the system can be set up to email the god or goddess that runs the SCB system, and to text them too, if required. It supports the following protocols.


Balabit also claims that it has little competition in the sector. Wallix, CyberARK, Xceedium and Dell Quest use jump hosts; Observe-IT, Centrify and TSFactory are agent based, while Intellinx is a network sniffer.

Balabit, which received an £8 million series A funding from C5 last week, targets banks, central government, telcos, cloud and MSPs, big manufacturers, large enterprises and enterprises using outsourcing.  It doesn’t have any offerings for SMBs, and the cheapest implementation is likely to cost in excess of $10,000. Customers include Raiffeisen, Orange, Telenor, Handelsbanken and Ankara University.

Of course, the big question is that it will be one or two superusers, such as auditors, that has access to the device that monitors an entire enterprise.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes – who will guard the guards themselves? Because she, he, or they are humans too, subject to the emotions, passions, greed and chicanery that affects all of our species.

EE raises 4G customer base

eeTelco EE, the result of a merger between Orange and T-Mobile, has managed to boost its first half earnings to £734 million.

EBITDA margins rose to 22.9 percent, compared to 20.3 percent in the first half of 2012. The main drivers were postpaid customer growth and progress in both retail and improving its network. Second quarter revenues fell 2.3 percent year on year to £1.61 billion while customer numbers dropped 2.4 percent to 27.5 million.

EE had a lead on 4G coverage, being awarded spectrum before rivals and raising subscriptions to nearly 700,000 to date – from 500,000 at the beginning of June. It is currently the only operator that has launched LTE all across the UK, and is pursuing an aggressive growth strategy to cement its position as top dog.

Postpaid customers grew 6.3 percent to 14 million, with such customers making up over half of all EE’s subscriber base.

Analyst company IHS notes EE’s monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) fell 1.6 percent year on year to £18.4 on the back of regulation and increased competition.

EE’s chief executive Olaf Swantee would not confirm whether the company would go public, but did say the reason for rumours it will are because margins are being driven up, the Telegraph reports.

Ofcom finds Orange is a lemon

OrangeOrange and TalkTalk have once again found themselves in the bottom of a customer satisfaction survey.

The pair faced the most complaints in Ofcom’s latest research into the level of service for
major telecoms and pay TV providers between October and December 2012.

Despite the total volume of complaints made to Ofcom falling during the last quarter of 2012 – the sixth consecutive quarter of decline – Orange and TalkTalk still weren’t performing well enough to satisfy their paying customers.

TalkTalk scraped the bottom in the landline telephone market,  generating the most complaints during the final quarter of 2012, with 0.36 complaints per 1,000 customers.

Ofcom pointed out, however, that the company’s complaints continued to fall quarter on quarter, although they remained at almost double the industry average, with consumers mainly complaining about service faults and customer service problems.

BT complaints fell slightly from 0.21 complaints to 0.20 complaints per 1,000 customers in Q4 2012, however, it still remained above the average, while Sky and Virgin Media both generated complaints below the industry average.

Virgin Media had the fewest number of complaints, at 0.11 complaints per 1,000 customers, while Sky attracted 0.12 complaints per 1,000 customers.

When it came to broadband Orange usurped TalkTalk to gain the most complaints at 0.70 per 1,000 customers, increasing from 0.50 per 1,000 customers three months earlier.

The data found that complaints about Orange hit a peak in October, which Ofcom said  related to the company’s decision to withdraw its free broadband offer unless customers also purchased line rental from the firm.

TalkTalk was the second most complained about broadband provider. Its complaints continued to fall quarter on quarter – from 0.35 to 0.33 complaints per 1,000 customers – although they remained higher than the industry average. BT also generated above average complaint levels at 0.30 per 1,000 subscribers. Sky’s broadband service attracted the fewest complaints at 0.08 per 1,000 customers.

Orange again found itself at the top of the complaints pops when it came to paid mobile services with above average figures of 0.21 per 1,000 customers. This was, again, largely driven by the withdrawal of its free broadband offer.

T-Mobile also generated complaints in excess of the industry average, with consumers mainly complaining about billing and how their complaints were handled. Three’s complaints were equal to the industry average.

O2 was the least complained about mobile provider with 0.06 complaints per 1,000 customers. O2, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone all achieved fewer complaints than the industry average.