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France Telecom celebrates its 1,000th Orange WiFi hotspot
Posted: 18-Feb-2004 [Source: France Telecom]

[France Telecom announces the activation of its 1,000th hotspot at the Palais Brongniart (Paris Stock Exchange). ]

Early 2003, Orange paved the way and announced the installation of 400 hotspots in France before the end of the year. In late January 2004 this commitment was surpassed with 1,000 activated hotspots, from which everyday hundreds of clients already use high-speed wireless Internet access on their laptops. Supporting "business" mobile users throughout their trips (airports, hotels, conference centers), this is certainly the largest WiFi network in France, in particular thanks to partnerships signed with groups such as Accor or Air France and to deployment support provided by France Telecom's regional teams.

Accelerated deployment By the end of 2004, Orange plans to deploy 4,500 hotspots under new agreements signed with Virgin, Club Med, Disney Resort and Total. Moreover, smaller establishments such as cafes, hotels and restaurants can easily activate an Orange hotspot by purchasing a Wanadoo Extense Pro WiFi pack. Additionally, France Telecom's Paris Regional Division is launching an experiment conducted with local governments to develop "WiFi areas."

Simplicity, security and efficiency for all Orange customers Beyond the service's availability, WiFi development requires providing users with simple and secure offers. No specific computer parameterization is needed to use Orange WiFi access and a bilingual French and English dedicated hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Didier Quillot, Executive VP, Orange France, adds, "Our mission as a mobile phone telecommunications carrier is to enable our customers to maintain their connection with their environment when far from home or the office, in complete serenity and as easily as possible."

Already bolstered by the market's largest selection of prepaid cards, subscription plans (Orange PC Entreprise) or online bankcard payment services, Orange introduces the Orange mobile phone as a means of obtaining one's WiFi access codes. Starting in April, Orange's 2 million business customers can use their mobile phone plan for WiFi Internet connection on their laptops.

Finally, in order to simplify everyone's access to a high quality WiFi service, Orange is actively involved in the WiFi Multi-carriers Association to guarantee the interoperability of hotspots in France starting from the second quarter of 2004, and is implementing its expertise in roaming agreements developed within the GSM world to offer a more extensive international WiFi coverage.

With Orange WiFi access, Orange is undertaking actions that aim to provide its customers with improved coherence between various mobile terminal uses, whether at home, at the office or in a public place.

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