Frost & Sullivan Recognizes Orange for its Rapid Penetration and Resulting Leadership in the African Telecommunications Market

The company's strategic excellence has helped it beat intense competition and increase profits despite decreasing voice service revenues and challenging business environments

Sep 18, 2013, 05:00 ET from Frost & Sullivan

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Sept. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Based on its recent research on the telecommunications market, Frost & Sullivan presents Orange with the 2013 Africa Frost & Sullivan Company of the Year Award for the impressive execution of its growth strategies and its commitment to offering superior services and products to customers.

A strong desire to become one of the top two mobile operators in each African country in which it is present has seen Orange focus on superior network quality and customer service while leveraging discerning strategies to expand into the developing Africa and Middle East markets.

"Despite fierce competition, Orange has managed to maintain its leadership positions and enjoy significant growth rates in terms of subscribers and revenues," said Frost & Sullivan ICT Industry Analyst Ishe Zingoni. "This success is based not only on innovations and customer-centric products but also on visionary strategies and their robust implementation that has allowed steady market penetration."

It addition to its traditional activity as a network operator, Orange has also taken concrete measures to operate in markets where the company does not have a mobile network. A case in point is the establishment of Orange Horizons, a subsidiary which leverages the widespread renown of the Orange brand to explore business opportunities outside the group's existing footprint. Orange Horizons took advantage of the February 2013 African Football Confederation Cup, for which Orange is one of the main pan-African sponsors, to launch Orange-branded activities in South Africa.

Similarly, Orange is the only market player that has such a strong focus on improving customer satisfaction. It conducts regular customer surveys that are used to help develop services that best reflect its customer's needs.

In its pursuit of expansion in Africa, Orange has also been looking for opportunities in terms of acquisitions and new mobile licenses. The company acquired Congo Chine Telecom (CCT) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in late 2011.

Orange is also leveraging its innovation centres to offer tailored, value-added services that aim to maximize customer value, enhance customer experience and grow market share across Africa. Its two Technocentres in Amman and Abidjan are dedicated to the development of new product and service offerings for consumers in the region.

"More importantly, Orange has been tapping into opportunities presented by local particularities such as a significant lack of access to credit cards, low broadband penetration as well as the positive, unprecedented uptake of mobile services," observed Ishe Zingoni.

For example, in the mobile money space, Orange is one of leading service providers in Africa. In June 2013, the company had already amassed over 7.4 million mobile money users in 13 markets in Africa and the Middle East. This year has seen the introduction of two important new services. Firstly, its partnership with Visa Card allows its mobile money customers access to Visa Card services. Visa Mobile Prepaid accounts are integrated into Orange Money accounts through VisaNet, Visa's global payment network. In addition, Orange has set up a web-based international money transfer website for Mali and Madagascar, allowing money to be sent from anywhere in the world with a bank card.

One of the key elements of Orange's development strategy in the continent is its rigorously customer-centric pricing structure that focuses on allowing customers to get the most value out of their mobile services. The company offers a segmented pricing structure for value-added services, starting from free-of-charge to bundled tariffs.

"As a result, operations in Africa and the Middle East are the group's strongest growth driver, in particular in markets such as Cote d'Ivoire and Guinea," noted Ishe Zingoni. "Orange is also likely to witness further growth in corporate and consumer segments in the short term as there are lots of growth opportunities in key markets such as DRC and Mali."

In recognition of these achievements, Frost & Sullivan is pleased to present Orange with the 2013 African Telecommunications Company of the Year Award. Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated excellence in terms of growth strategy and implementation. The award recognizes a high degree of innovation with products and technologies and the resulting leadership in terms of customer value and market penetration.

Frost & Sullivan's Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.

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Samantha James
Corporate Communications Africa
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SOURCE Frost & Sullivan