You are on page 1of 12

Orange S.A., formerly France Tlcom S.A.

, is a French multinational
telecommunications corporation. It has 256 million customers worldwide and employs
95,000 people in France, and 59,000 elsewhere.[3] In 2015, the group had revenue of
40 billion.[4] The company's head office is located in the 15th arrondissement of
Paris. The current CEO is Stphane Richard. The company is a component of the Euro
Stoxx 50 stock market index.[5]
Orange has been the company's main brand for mobile, landline, internet and IPTV
services since 2006. It originated in 1994 when Hutchison Whampoa acquired a
controlling stake in Microtel Communications during the early 1990s and rebranded
it as "Orange". It became a subsidiary of Mannesmann in 1999 and was acquired by
France Tlcom in 2000. The company was rebranded as Orange in July 2013.[6]
Contents [hide]
1 History
1.1 Nationalised service (1970s1980s)
1.2 Creation of France Tlcom (19881997)
1.3 'Roaring Nineties' (19972000)
1.4 Acquisition of Orange and privatization
1.5 NeXT scheme and rebranding to Orange (2006present)
2 Shareholders
3 Operations
3.1 Mobile
3.2 Landline and Internet
3.3 Broadcasting
3.4 Music
4 Subsidiaries, joint ventures and holdings
4.1 Orange Business Services
4.2 BT Group
4.3 Globecast
4.4 Viaccess Orca
4.5 Orange Labs
4.6 Dailymotion
4.7 Deezer
4.8 Studio 37
4.9 Cityvox
4.10 Cloudwatt
5 Controversy
5.1 Staff suicides
5.2 Access to some sites limited
5.3 Accusations of false advertising in France
5.4 Corruption in Tunisia
5.5 Anticompetitive practices in French overseas departments
5.6 SMS and MMS propagation of 1 January 2011 in France
5.7 Controversies in UK regarding the quality of service
5.8 Accusations of antisemitism and calls for boycott
6 Governance
6.1 Overview of governance
6.2 Chairmen
6.3 Chief executive officers
6.4 Board of directors
6.5 Executive committee
6.6 Head office
7 Orange Foundation
8 Sponsorship
9 See also
10 References
11 External links
Nationalised service (1970s1980s)[edit]
In 1792, under the French Revolution, the first communication network was developed
to enable the rapid transmission of information in a warring and unsafe country.
That was the optical telegraphy network of Claude Chappe.
In 1878, after the invention of the electrical telegraph and then the invention of
the telephone, the French State created a Ministry of Posts and Telegraphs.
Telephone Services were added to the ministry when they were nationalised in 1889.
However, it was not until 1923 that the second 'T' (for 'telephones') appeared and
the department of P&T became PTT.
In 1941, a General Direction of Telecommunications was created within this
ministry. Then, in 1944, the National Centre of Telecommunications Studies (CNET)
was created to develop the telecommunications industry in France.
In the 1970s, France tried extra hard to make up its delay on other countries with
the programme "delta LP" (increasing the main lines). It was at the time when the
majority of the local loop was built; that is all the cables linking the users to
the operator. Moreover, with the help of French manufacturers, digital switching,
the Minitel and the GSM standard were invented by engineers and CNET researchers.
Creation of France Tlcom (19881997)[edit]
Until 1988, France Tlcom was known as the direction gnrale des
Tlcommunications, a division of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. It
became autonomous in 1990. This was in response to a European directive, aimed at
making competition mandatory in public services from 1 January 1998. The 2 July
1990 Bill changed France Tlcom into an operator of public law, with Marcel Roulet
the first Chairman. Since then, the company has had a separate body corporate from
the State and acquired financial autonomy. It was privatised by Lionel Jospin's
Plural Left government starting on 1 January 1998. The French government, both
directly and through its holding company ERAP, continues to hold a stake of almost
27% in the company. In addition, the government Conseil of Ministers names the CEO.
[7] In 1982 Telecom introduced Minitel online ordering for its customers. In
September 1995, Michel Bon was appointed to run France Tlcom Group.
'Roaring Nineties' (19972000)[edit]
In 1997, the capital of the new public company was successfully floated whereas the
dot-com bubble phenomenon made the stock exchanges bullish. A second share offering
occurred in 1998. France Tlcom got behind in the internationalization launched by
its international competitors such as Vodafone, thus, it started looking for
targets at the highest speculation rate of the dot-com bubble. Moreover, its
alliance with Deutsche Telekom based on a reciprocal capital contribution of 2%
broke off when Deutsche Telekom announced that they were planning to do business
with Telecom Italia without letting the French know even if this project ended up
Acquisition of Orange and privatization[edit]
See also: Orange (UK) History

In July 1991, Hutchison Telecom, a UK subsidiary of the Hong Kong-based

conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, acquired a controlling stake in Microtel
Communications Ltd, who by then had acquired a license to develop a mobile network
in the United Kingdom.[8][9][10] Hutchison renamed Microtel to Orange Personal
Communications Services Ltd, and on 28 April 1994 the Orange brand was launched in
the UK mobile phone market. A holding company structure was adopted in 1995 with
the establishment of Orange plc. In April 1996, Orange went public and floated on
the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ,[11] majority owned by Hutchison (48.22%),[12]
[13] followed by BAe (21.1%).[11] In June 1996, it became the youngest company to
enter the FTSE 100, valued at 2.4 billion. By July 1997, the company's growth
strategy paid off and Orange reached one million customers with the lowest churn
rate and best profit margins compared to its competitors.[citation needed]
In October 1999 the German conglomerate Mannesmann AG acquired Orange for a price
equivalent to 7,900 per customer, i.e. US$33 billion.[14][15][16] Mannesmann's
acquisition of Orange triggered Vodafone to make a hostile takeover bid for
Mannesmann. Shortly thereafter, in February 2000, Vodafone acquired Mannesmann for
US$183 billion, and decided to divest Orange because the EU regulations wouldn't
allow it to hold two mobile licences.[17]
In August 2000, France Tlcom bought Orange plc from Vodafone for a total
estimated cost of 39.7 billion.[18][19][20] At the time, France Tlcom also
bought stakes in several other international firms (GlobalOne, Equant, Internet
Telecom, Freeserve, EresMas, NTL, Mobilcom), of which some have since been sold
back. Through this process, France Tlcom became the fourth biggest global
operator. The mobile telephone operations of Orange plc were merged with the
majority of the mobile operations of France Tlcom, forming the new group Orange
On 13 February 2001, Orange SA was listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange with
an initial public offering of 95 Euros per share, with a secondary listing in
London.[21] In May 2001, Orange SA was listed on the CAC 40,[22] the benchmark
stock market index of the top 40 French companies in terms of market
In June 2001 the France Telecom Mobile brands Itinris, OLA, and Mobicarte were
replaced by the Orange brand. On 21 November 2003, France Telecom withdrew the
13.7% of Oranges shares traded on the Paris stock exchange.[24]
On 2 October 2002, the CEO, Thierry Breton was given the task of turning the
company around after the company became crippled by debt following the drop of the
company's stock price. On 30 September 2002, the company's stock price was 6.94,
down from 219 on 2 March 2000. France Tlcom was the second most indebted company
worldwide in terms of short-term liabilities. The company obtained 15 billion of
debt adjustment that needed to be borne by banks and investors, another 15 billion
as a capital increase from the French State since it was still the majority
shareholder, and an additional 15 billion in cash from internal savings. On 25
February 2005, Thierry Breton was appointed Minister of Finance and Industry and
Didier Lombard, who had been head of the firm's new technologies division, replaced
him as CEO.[25]
NeXT scheme and rebranding to Orange (2006present)[edit]

Logo of France Tlcom from 2006 until 2013.

The NeXT scheme was the recovery plan for France Tlcom which aimed at, among
other things, reducing costs, especially wage costs, carrying on a converging
policy for its products and services, and grouping together all the brands under a
single brand, except for the activities dealing with fixed line telephone which
would stay under the designation 'France Tlcom'. Consequently, this led to the
disappearance of a number of brands.
From 1 June 2006, France Tlcom tried to commercialize all its products under a
single worldwide brand, becoming the sole brand of the France Telecom group for
Internet, television and mobile services in the majority of countries in which
Orange operated. Orange Business Services became the brand for all its business
services offerings worldwide, replacing the Equant brand. In June 2007, Orange and
Mid Europa Partners acquire Austrian mobile network company One, re-branding it as
Orange Austria. In 2012 this network is sold to Hutchison 3G and the Orange Austria
brand was terminated.[26]
In November 2008, Orange launched five Orange Cinema Series channels. To do so,
Orange bought the exclusive rights from Warner Bros..[27] for first runs of all new
films, previously held by TPS Star (a subsidiary of the Canal+ Group), as well as
all films in its catalogue and rights to the film catalogues of Gaumont, HBO[28]
and MGM.[29] Orange also secured exclusive rights to broadcast Saturday evening
Ligue 1 football matches from the French Football Federation.[30] SFR (a subsidiary
of Canal +). Free accuses Orange of tied-selling because the Orange channels are
only available to its subscribers.[31] In June 2008, the firm abandoned a 27
billion bid for Swedish operator TeliaSonera after the two companies failed to
agree terms.[32]
In 2008, Orange was given permission from Apple to sell the iPhone in Austria,
Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Jordan, Poland, Portugal, Romania,
Slovakia, Switzerland and Orange's African markets.[33] On 8 September 2009, Orange
and T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom announced they were in advanced talks to merge
their UK operations to create the largest mobile operator with 37% of the market.
Both T-Mobile and Orange brands[34] will be kept due to the differences in targeted
market. T-Mobile will remain the budget conscious offering and Orange the premium
one although there is some overlap as of February 2011.[35]
On 5 April 2009, Orange won an Arbitration Court case against Orascom Telecom,
forcing Orascom to transfer its stake in Mobinil to Orange at a price of E441,658
per Mobinil share.[36] On 28 October 2009 Orange changed the name of its
Luxembourgish telecommunication company VOXMobile to Orange.[37] On 5 November 2009
Orange Armenia, 100% subsidiary of France Telecom, launched telecommunication
services in Armenia.[38] On 11 December 2009 Egypt's regulator approved an offer
from a unit of France Telecom (Orange) to buy Mobinil.[39] In 2010 Orange changes
CEO. Didier Lombard is replaced by Stphane Richard.[40] The company is also
reorganised internally, most notably with the arrival of former Culture Minister
Christine Albanel as head of communications for the group.[41] In mid-April 2010
Orange UK announced that it would outsource the management of its broadband network
to BT. This announcement was greeted positively by broadband commentators, who felt
that the move was likely to improve Orange's broadband quality and customer
On 2 March 2012,Didier Lombard, who remained special advisor to Stphane Richard,
left the company.[43] His departure was shadowed by controversy over his stock
options: he was suspected of having stayed with the company longer to wait for the
France Telecom share to recover and then exercise his stock option. The share was
trading at around 16, whereas his stock options were at 23.[44] On 3 February
2012, Hutchison Whampoa announced that it would buy Orange Austria for US$1.7
billion.[45] The deal closed on 3 January 2013,[46] and the Orange brand was phased
out on 19 August 2013, when its operations were merged into 3.[47] In March 2012,
France Tlcom bought 93.9 percent of Mobinil, an Egyptian mobile operator, from
Naguib Sawiris's Orascom Telecom Media and Technology (OTMT) in an effort to double
its revenue in MENA by 2015.[48] On 28 May 2013 at the Annual Shareholders'
Meeting, shareholders approved changing the name of the group to Orange S.A. This
became effective on 1 July 2013.[6] In September 2014, Orange agreed a deal to
acquire Spanish firm Jazztel for a fee of around 3.4 billion.[49]
The major shareholders of Orange as of 31 December 2015 are the state of France
through Agence des participations de l'tat[50] and Banque publique
d'investissement (replacing Fonds stratgique d'investissement) for 23.04%.[51] As
in mid-2013, Orange employees, who own 4.81%, and the company itself, who own

Orange world activities.

Business locations in Europe.

Naranja1.png France, Romania and Slovakia: leading mobile telephone business.
Naranja2.png Belgium, Poland: ranked 2nd in mobile telephony.
Naranja3.png Spain: ranked 3rd in mobile telephony.
Orange is the sole brand used in the marketing of the company's mobile offers; the
Itineris, Ola and Mobicarte brands have been combined since 2001, and Mobicarte
became a special prepaid calling offer. As of 31 December 2010, Orange has 150
million mobile customers worldwide, 17.9% of whom are in France. Orange France is
the leading mobile telecommunications operator in France, with a market share of
45.38% as of 2 November 2009.[53]
Country Operator Website
France (headquarters) Orange
Belgium Orange
Botswana Orange
Cameroon Orange
Central African Republic Orange
Democratic Republic of the Congo Orange
Dominican Republic Orange
Egypt Orange
Equatorial Guinea
Guinea-Bissau Orange
Iraq Korek
Ivory Coast Orange
Jordan Orange
Kenya Orange
Liberia Orange
Luxembourg Orange
Madagascar Orange
Mali Orange
Moldova Orange
Morocco Orange
Niger Orange
Poland Orange
Runion Orange
Romania Orange
Senegal Orange
Sierra Leone Orange link
Slovakia Orange
Spain Orange
Tunisia Orange
The Orange brand name was licensed to a number of operators which Orange S.A. did
not own, these include:
Country Former operator Rebranding/ License cancellation Present operator
United Kingdom Orange February 2015 EE
Liechtenstein Orange April 2015 Salt
Switzerland Orange April 2015[54] Salt
Armenia Orange December 2015 Ucom
Israel Orange February 2016[55][56] Partner
Mauritius Orange November 2017[57] My.T
Landline and Internet[edit]
See also: Livebox
Orange took over the landline and Internet businesses of France Telecom and Wanadoo
in 2006. Since then, Orange is the sole brand of France Telecom for landline and
Internet services worldwide, with a few exceptions, such as Mobistar in Belgium and
TPSA in Poland. Oranges triple-play broadband Internet offers are supplied through
the Livebox. As of 31 December 2010, Orange has 13.7 million broadband ADSL
customers worldwide, 67% of whom are in France40.
The Livebox is the ADSL modem supplied to Oranges ADSL and FTTH customers in
France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain and Tunisia, and to
WiMAX customers in Cameroon. It serves as a bridge between the Internet access and
the home network through several communication interfaces (Bluetooth, Ethernet, Wi-
Fi). The Livebox has evolved over time. The Livebox 1.0 was replaced by version
1.1, the Mini Livebox, followed by the Livebox 2.0. The newest version was
scheduled to be rolled out 2012 41. The Livebox is offered on a monthly contract
for 3 per month or for purchase for 59. Number of Liveboxes rented in 2008: 7.3
million, a 12.3% increase in one year.[58]
Beginning in 2003, Oranges strategy has centred on the acquisition, creation and
diffusion of content. This starts with the creation of in 2003, later
renamed Orange TV, an ADSL television access service and a video on demand service.
In 2004, Orange organises a television access service for mobile phones. In 2007,
Orange creates Studio 37 (fr) and, in 2008, enters into a partnership with France
Televisions to broadcast pre-recorded programming from the public national
television and to roll out theme channels for sports, cinema and television series.
Dubbed Content Everywhere in 2008, the content access strategy is announced
simultaneously with the launch of the Orange cinema series television channels,[59]
and aims to offer customers access to all of the company's content, anywhere and
from any device.
Orange Cinema series[edit]
Orange Cinema Series is launched 13 November 2008, along with Orange Sport; it
comprises five channels devoted to movies (Orange Cin Max, Cin Happy, Cin Choc,
Cin Novo, Cin Gant). The channels primarily show films from the Warner Bros. and
HBO catalogues. Orange installs additional VOD services on its channels, allowing
viewers to watch programmes broadcast in the previous 30 days whenever they like,
as well as supplementary programmes from the previous month.
Orange Sport[edit]
Orange Sport is launched 13 November 2008. Orange secures the broadcast rights for
the Saturday evening lineup of Ligue 1 matches from season 2008/2009 to season
2011/2012, and the rights to home matches of eight Serie A clubs (U.C. Sampdoria,
Atalanta B.C., A.C. ChievoVerona, Reggina, A.C. Siena, U.S. Citt di Palermo,
Udinese Calcio and S.S.C. Napoli).[60] The acquisition of these rights marks the
start of competition for sports programs with the Canal+ group.
Video on demand[edit]
Main article: Video on demand
Orange offers services for video on demand access using the Orange decoder, a
computer or a mobile phone. Orange offers free programming from the catalogues of
available works of France Television,[61] M6[62] and TF1[63] for one week after
their initial broadcast.
Online entertainment[edit]
In 1997 France Telecom created Goa, an online entertainment subsidiary. The site is
launched as a platform for players of massively multiplayer online games. In 2002
Goa acquires the operating license for Dark Age of Camelot. In 2007 Goa ceases to
be a subsidiary and is merged into Orange. In 2009 Orange refocuses on
online entertainment and gradually ceases to operate massively multiplayer online
games. In August 2010 disappears to become the Orange Jeux portal.[64]
Liveradio (fr): Created by Orange in 2008, Liveradio is a free, live, on-demand IP
radio streaming service. Users gain access through this service to more than 10,000
FM and web radio stations and 11,000 podcasts from 100 different countries.
Subsidiaries, joint ventures and holdings[edit]

Orange Marine operates cable-laying ships

Orange is a communications access provider offering customers access through
multiple platforms. The four key platforms Orange operates are:
fixed line telephone, mainly in France and Poland.
broadband access.
mobile phone telephony.
most recently, IPTV, though currently only in France and Spain, with MaLigne TV,
now known as Orange TV.
France Tlcom merged the different internal divisions managing each platform and
now all operate under the Orange brand.[65]
Orange Business Services[edit]
Main article: Orange Business Services
Orange is present in the US through its Orange Business Services division and its
venture capital historical partner Innovacom as well as two R&D labs: one in Boston
and the other in South San Francisco, California.

As a result of deregulation, Orange operates phone booth in Wellington, New

OpenTransit is Orange's backbone network. It covers Europe, the United States,
Japan, Hong Kong, and loops back to Paris.
BT Group[edit]
Main article: BT Group
Orange and Deutsche Telekom merged their UK businesses in 2010 to form a joint
venture branded as EE.[66] In December 2014 Orange were in talks with BT Group
regarding the acquisition of EE for an estimated 12.5bn.[67] On 5 February 2015 it
was announced that BT would be acquiring EE in a 12.5bn deal, in which Orange S.A
would take a 4% stake in the BT Group.[68] The acquisition of EE was completed 29
January 2016.
Globecast is a provider of transmission of satellite and production services for
professional broadcast, online content and enterprise multimedia. GlobeCast World
TV is a division of Globecast. In 2012, Globecast also began launching a direct to
home OTT IPTV service called MyGlobeTV in the United States using NetGem set top
boxes.[69][70] The MyGlobeTV service was discontinued In December 2013.[71]
Viaccess Orca[edit]
Viaccess Orca is a provider of IPTV and OTT TV middleware and security solutions.
Orange Labs[edit]
Orange Labs (formerly France Tlcom R&D) is the research and development division
of Orange.[72][73] This division was derived from different previous entities, such
as CNET (Centre national d'tudes des tlcommunications) created in 1944, the
CCETT created in 1972, as well as other entities.[74][75][76][77] In 2007, France
Tlcom R&D became known as Orange Labs, a global network of R&D entities.[78][79]
CCETT/France Tlcom R&D contributed to various international standards, such as
ISO/IEC MPEG[80] and JPEG standards or DAB and DVB standards.[81][82][83][84][85]
[86] CCETT, IRT and Philips developed a digital audio two-channel compression
system known as Musicam or MPEG Audio Layer II (Emmy Award in Engineering 2000).
In 2010, Orange devoted 1.9% of its revenue, or 845 million, to research and
development. Since January 2007 Orange has unified its research laboratories and
technocentres in the Orange Labs network. As of 31 December 2010 Orange held a
portfolio of 7,892 patents, 327 which were filed in 2010.[90] Orange employs 3,700
people in research and development per year throughout the organisation,[91]
including more than 200 doctoral candidates and post-doctorates.[92] Orange's
research and development is based on partnerships with industry, suppliers and
operators, universities and schools, academic institutes and research programs such
as the following:
Partner Type
China Telecom Supplier and operator
Deutsche Telekom Supplier and operator
Bibliothque nationale de France Academic institute
CNRS Academic institute
INRIA Academic institute
Suplec University/School
Tlcom Bretagne University/School
cole Normale Suprieure University/School
ESSEC - Chaire Media & Entertainment University/School
cole Normale Suprieure - chaire de cryptologie University/School
Paris Descartes University - chaire pluridisciplinaire University/School
cole polytechnique - chaire Innovation et Rgulation University/School
Massachusetts Institute of Technology University/School
Beijing University of Post and Telecom University/School
Imperial College London University/School
Agence Nationale de la Recherche Research program
Two types of infrastructure coexist in Orange's research and development: the
research laboratories and the technocentres. The latter are responsible for Orange
innovations[93] and consist of multidisciplinary teams of researchers, engineers,
and marketing and sales personnel.
Type City Country
Technocentre Chatillon France
Technocentre London United Kingdom
Technocentre Warsaw Poland
Technocentre Amman Jordan
R&D - Spain
R&D San Francisco United States
R&D Beijing China
R&D Cairo Egypt
R&D Tokyo Japan
R&D Issy les Moulineaux France
R&D Caen France
R&D Grenoble France
R&D Rennes France
R&D Lannion France
R&D Sophia Antipolis France
R&D La Turbie France
R&D Belfort France
Main article: Dailymotion
On 25 January 2011 Orange announced the acquisition of 49% of Dailymotion, a French
online video platform, at a cost of 58.8 million. The group also secured an option
to acquire all of the shares in the platform in 2013.[94] This is indicative of a
new strategy by Orange, which seeks to offer a full range of multi-screen video to
its subscribers.[94]
Main article: Deezer
In late August 2010 Orange acquired an 11% share in the streaming site Deezer. With
this acquisition, the operator offered its subscribers a new "Deezer Premium"
option: a high-quality paid streaming music service with no advertising and 7
million titles.[95]
Studio 37[edit]
Created in 2007 Studio 37 (fr) co-produces and acquires films, unlike the Canal+
Groups StudioCanal. The producer Frdrique Dumas starts the studio, which has an
initial budget of 30 million Euros. For its growth, Orange negotiates exclusivity
agreements with Warner, HBO, Fidlit Films and Gaumont, ensuring a stream of films
for its TV Orange Cinema Series package.[96] In 2011, Studio 37 co-produced The
Artist which went on to win best picture and four further awards at the 84th
Academy Awards. This makes it the first silent film to win an award since the
original ceremony in 1929.
Cityvox is a network of websites with local content (restaurants, cultural
happenings, etc.) created in 1999. Orange purchased the network site in 2008.[97]
Cloudwatt is a cloud services provider set up in 2012 by Orange (44%), the French
government through Caisse des Dpts (33%) and Thales (22%). In March 2015, Orange
acquired all remaining shares of Cloudwatt to strengthen its enterprise cloud
services offering.[98]
Staff suicides[edit]
Between the beginning of January 2008 and April 2011, more than 60 France Tlcom
employees committed suicide,[99] (in 2008 and the early part of 2009 there were 25
[100]) some leaving notes blaming stress and misery at work. In October 2009, the
wave of suicides led former Deputy CEO Louis-Pierre Wenes to resign under trade
union pressure, to be replaced by Stephane Richard.[101][102] Faced with repeated
suicides, the company promoted Stephane Richard to chief executive officer on 1
February 2010, while Didier Lombard remained as chairman.[103]
The suicide rate among France Tlcom's 102,000 domestic employees is 15.3 per
year, compared with an average of 14.7 suicides per 100,000 in the French
population as a whole.[104]
Following an investigation, the Inspection du travail (Labour Inspection) told the
labour union Sud-PTT that the work organisation at France Tlcom "was conducive to
generating suffering at work" and "health risks" for employees.[105] An
investigation was conducted by the audit firm Technologia at the request of France
Tlcom's management. Of the 102,843 employees in the groups parent company,
80,080 responded, i.e. a response rate of 77.9%. The fact-finding report revealed a
"very poor general feeling", "strained physical and mental health", and a "tense
and even violent working environment" for some categories of personnel. Working
conditions were deemed difficult, mainly for personnel in charge of sales and
"customer interventions". Given heavy media coverage, these findings were the
source of major contention about working conditions.
Access to some sites limited[edit]
In 2011, following complaints by Internet users, Megaupload accused Orange of not
providing sufficient connectivity to its site, thus severely limiting throughput
from France, an allegation Orange denied.[106]
Accusations of false advertising in France[edit]
In November 2009, three users lodged a complaint against Orange for false
advertising concerning its "Unlimited 3G Key" service.[107] These customers
criticised the operator for the misleading way in which this service is presented,
since it isn't in fact unlimited. While it is true that there is no time limit, the
user cannot download more than 1 gigabyte per month, thus limiting browsing.
Unaware of this, the three plaintiffs browsed beyond plan limits and had to pay
additional fees as a result.
Corruption in Tunisia[edit]
In March 2011, the information website OWNI uncovered a questionable financial deal
that enabled the Orange group to acquire a 3G license.[108]
Anticompetitive practices in French overseas departments[edit]
On 28 July 2011, the Competition Authority fined France Tlcom 27.6 million for
having improperly impeded the development of new competing operators in the French
overseas departments (primarily Runion).[109]
France Tlcom used its dominant position, resulting in particular from its former
monopoly, to take unfair advantage of its competitors.
The practices identified by the Authority were:
excessive rate levels
as operators of the quasi-totality of the telecommunication infrastructure local
loops, making use of the data which they have access to, France Tlcom has
targeted former subscribers who had switched to a competitor, in order to win them
back, offering them specific deals.
margin squeeze on broadband Internet offers
maintaining call barring services inconsistent with the prior selection of an
alternative operator
SMS and MMS propagation of 1 January 2011 in France[edit]
On 1 January 2011, Orange users SMS and MMS were sent and billed multiple times.
The operator agreed to reimburse the excess costs to consumers, explaining that the
error came from a "third party operator"[110] (which turned out to be Bouygues
Telecom),[111] said not to have sent acknowledgements, which caused the messages to
be resent. A computer problem at the Bouygues platform was blamed.[112] During the
night of 31 December 2010 to 1 January 2011, more than 930 million text messages
were exchanged in France (for the three operators combined), setting a new record
compared with the peaks of the previous years.[113]
Controversies in UK regarding the quality of service[edit]
On 21 March 2007 Watchdog, a television series by the BBC focusing on consumer
protection, published the results from a broadband survey they held. According to
the survey Orange is the worst ISP in the UK. 68% of Orange customers that took
part in the survey said they were unsatisfied with Orange's customer service, it
was voted as the most unreliable broadband provider, and it had the highest number
of dissatisfied customers. Two thirds of Orange customers experienced problems
cancelling their Orange broadband.[114]
In response to the problems with Orange UK broadband and 3G broadband during March
2009 and April 2009 the 3G data network has been upgraded to 3.5G and increased
signal coverage. This new network can be seen in action on many mobile phones which
display network for instance the Nokia N95, when the phone detects the higher
speed. The Orange UK mobile broadband USB adapter works with the new network. The
3G networks for all telecommunication suppliers still struggle to get the
throughput that was originally advertised when these networks were announced. The
UK Telecoms Regulator[115] has reported on the challenges for all suppliers.
A consumer organisation forum web site known as focuses on the
poor level of service provided by Orange Broadband in the UK. Initially set up as, the site focuses on the infamous Orange local loop
unbundling and poor customer service but covers a wider range of Orange operations
such as lost email, significantly delayed SMTP and outages, suspicions of
eavesdropping, et al.[citation needed]
Orange Mobile has been criticised during a Channel 4 News investigation for a lack
of security which potentially exposed customer records to fraud.[116]
In August 2007 Orange was criticised for summarily deleting email accounts tied to
old Freeserve and Wanadoo 'pay as you go' dial-up accounts with no warning.[117]
In August 2008, after well publicised problems with iPhone 3G performances,
customers compared their download speed and discovered that Orange in France was
capping 3G download bandwidth. Orange admitted capping to 384kbit/s, well below the
theoretical 7.2Mbit/s provided by the iPhone.[118][119] Orange uncapped 3G and 3G+
by mid-September 2008.[120]
Accusations of antisemitism and calls for boycott[edit]
The French chairman and CEO of the Orange telecommunications company, Stephane
Richard said in Cairo regarding his company operations in Israel, "Believe me, I
would cancel the contract tomorrow if I could. We want to end this and to fix this;
we don't want it." [121] Later, Orange announced desire to discontinue use of
popular brand name by its Israeli operator Partner Communications Company.[122] The
president of the State of Israel Reuven Rivlin said in response "Just yesterday
Israel faced attacks from anti-Israel and anti-Semitic bodies, who have chosen to
delegitimize the state of Israel, and to launch rockets at us from the Gaza Strip.
We must face these challenges together, right and left," Rivlin said.[123][124]
Israeli culture minister Miri Regev said, "I call on Jews of France and the world
to disconnect from Orange unless Stephane Richard takes back his words. The time
has come for them to understand that Jews in the world and sane voices that oppose
anti-Semitism and racism also have power."[123][125] The statement on the company's
website announced in response that "The Orange Group is a telecoms operator and as
such its primary concern is to defend and promote the value of its brand in markets
in which it is present," the statement began. "The Group does not engage in any
kind of political debate under any circumstance."[121] Later, Richard visited
Israel to clarify his remarks. He met Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu and former
president, Shimon Peres. Richard told both Netanyahu and Peres that Orange has not
and will not support anti-Israel boycott efforts, and insisted that its announced
decision to abrogate its relationship with Partner was purely commercial and not
On 30 June 2015, Orange and Partner announced a change to their 10-year licensing
agreement. Orange paid Partner 40 million to add an opt out clause to the
contract,[127] with which Partner conducted a market survey which is determine the
best course of action moving forward.[128] In the first year only Partner can opt
out, with either party being able to opt out in the second year.[129] Regardless of
which party opts to exercise the out clause, Orange will pay Partner an additional
50 million to end the arrangement.[130] Orange stated that the money paid to
Partner was purely for re-branding purposes and affirmed their previous statement
that their wish to leave Israel is based on desire to discontinue license
agreements and maintain only subsidiaries that they control, rather than a boycott.
[131] Orange would make the relevant payments over the course of two years and
charge it to their books as a mix of marketing, sales, customer services and
related expenses.[132] As part of the agreement Orange's research and development
activities within Israel would transition to the Orange name, but would be
restricted from entering the telecommunications services market.[133]
In September 2015, Orange reaffirmed their commitment to Israel with an investment
in Hola, a video distribution network.[134]
In February 2016, Orange and Partner decided to cut the agreement and remove the
brand from Partner.[135] Since then, the rebranding happened and Orange Israel
became "Partner".
Overview of governance[edit]
Governance of the Orange group is centred in its board of directors, executive
committee and three committees that steer Orange's strategy:[136]
Audit Committee: Created in 1997, the Audit Committee comprises three members
appointed for indefinite terms by the board of directors on the recommendation of
the Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility Committee.
Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility Committee: Created in 2010, it
comprises at least three members appointed by the board of directors on the
recommendation of its chairman. Its remit is to examine the main risks and
opportunities in relation with the environment, Oranges policies concerning
industrial, the publication of societal and environmental information, and the main
orientations of its corporate social responsibility policy.
Strategy Committee: Created in 2003, the Strategy Committee comprises at least
three members appointed by the board of directors on the recommendation of its
chairman. The latter chairs the committee. It examines the groups international
development strategic and the strategic mid-term guidelines.
2005: Didier Lombard
2010: Stphane Richard
Chief executive officers[edit]
The company is headed either by the chairman of the board of directors, whose title
in that case is the chairman and chief executive officer, or by another person
appointed by the board of directors and given the title of chief executive officer.
Board of directors[edit]
The Orange group is governed by a board of directors composed of a minimum of
twelve members and a maximum of twenty-two members, divided as follows: three are
appointed by the French State, three are elected by the employees, one is elected
by the shareholders and represents employee shareholders, the fifteen other members
are appointed by the shareholders. The board members serve for a term of four
Composition of the board of directors[edit]
In 2011, the board of directors was composed of 15 members:[137]
Name Position
Stphane Richard Chairman and chief executive officer
Bernard Dufau Independent member
Jos Luis Duran Independent member
Charles-Henri Filippi Independent member
Claudie Haigner Administrateur indpendant
Helle Kristoffersen Independent member
Muriel Pnicaud Independent member
Jean-Michel Severino Independent member
Jean-Dominique Comolli Member representing the French State
Pierre Graff Member representing the French State
Pascal Faure Member representing the French State
Caroline Angeli Member representing the employees
Ghislaine Coinaud Member representing the employees
Daniel Guillot Member representing the employees
Marc Maouche Member representing the shareholder employees
Thierry Franchi Representative of the central committee of the company
Jean-Philippe Roulet Secretary of the board of directors
Executive committee[edit]
The executive committee reports to the chairman and CEO. Its purpose is to
coordinate the implementation of Oranges strategic orientations and to oversee the
achievement of operational, social, technical and financial resource allocation
objectives. It comprises thirteen members[138][139]
Name Title
Stphane Richard Chairman and chief executive officer
Pierre Louette Deputy chief executive officer and group general secretary,
France Carriers Division and Group Sourcing and Supply Chain
Gervais Pellissier Chief executive officer delegate, Finance, Information
Systems, United Kingdom JV
Jean-Philippe Vanot Deputy chief executive officer, Quality, Corporate Social
Christine Albanel Executive vice president, Communication, Philanthropy, Content
Vivek Badrinath Executive vice president, Enterprise Communication Services
Bruno Mettling Deputy chief executive officer, Group Human Resources
Thierry Bonhomme Executive vice president, Networks and Carriers, Research and
Jean-Paul Cottet Executive vice president, Marketing and Innovation
Delphine Ernotte-Cunci Deputy chief executive officer, Orange France
Marc Rennard Executive vice president, Operations in Africa, the Middle East
and Asia
Benot Scheen Executive vice president, Operations in Europe (except France)
Elie Girard Executive vice president, Group Strategy and Development
Head office[edit]

Orange's former head office in Paris at 6, Place d'Alleray.

Orange's head office, since 2012, is based at 78, Rue Olivier de Serres in the 15th
arrondissement of Paris.[140]
The company's former head office was based at 6, Place d'Alleray in the 15th
arrondissement of Paris.[141] The building was the head office from 1998 until
2012. Eight hundred employees worked at the site.[142]
Orange Foundation[edit]
In 1987 France Telecom established the France Telecom Foundation. On 16 January
2007, the foundation changed its name to Orange Foundation. In 1990 France Telecom
Foundation received the top award for corporate philanthropy from ADMICAL.[143] In
1995 France Telecom Foundation received the top award for solidarity from ADMICAL.
[143] The board of directors of Orange Foundation consists of representatives of
Orange, independent personalities and employee representatives. Its purpose is to
support projects related to health, particularly autism; education, particularly
schooling for girls in developing countries; and culture, particularly group vocal
music. Projects supported by Orange Foundation are chosen by committees of experts
devoted to each major theme. The Foundation has been involved in 300 to 400
projects per year since 1987.[144] The Foundation works with international NGOs and
local associations involved in long-term projects in countries in which Orange is
based for better follow-up of these projects.
The company was the official jersey sponsor of the national basketball teams of the
Central African Republic and Senegal at the 2015 FIBA Africa Championship.[145]
Since October 2017, Orange is the new kit sponsor of the French soccer team of
Olympique de Marseille for the seasons 2017/2018 until 2018/2019.[146]