Arnauld Blondet, vice president of marketing products and innovation for Africa and the Middle East (AMEA) at Orange, revealed the operator’s near future plans for the continent at the Digital Services Africa conference in Sandton, Johannesburg.
Though acknowledging the difficulty in dealing with local partners, Orange believes more collaborations on the African continent is key to driving its operations.
“Local partners, …and local value is very important to us,” Blondet said.
HumanIPO reported earlier this month Orange had partnered with Nashua Mobile in South Africa, while they have also been connected with a bid for the 53 per cent stake in Moroccan operator Maroc Telecom.
Challenges of culture and business models will be overcome by viewing customers as shared rather than separated in African partnerships.
Orange aims to provide content management system (CMS) services to all countries with “the right content through the services to the right customers” as an investment.
With a desire to drive and equip with capabilities, the operator aims to make services available to many cultures to supply an open ecosystem to all customers.
“You need to think once for 85 million customers... We want to democratise content for all,” he said.
Already available in Europe, Orange will release the MyOrange app which allows budget control and account management features to the user.
Personal cloud services will be enhanced with more uploading, sharing and synchronisation features.
SMS-based services are still seen as a key provision channel for mobiles in Africa, according to Blondet.
But he said Orange aims to make internet and broadband access available on any device and accelerate digital adoption through SMS and chat-based services, as well as making the mobile a “daily life wallet” with mobile banking services.
The operator does not want to compete with any of the exclusive services providers, but rather satisfy the customer’s need with value-added services.