Orange, one of the world's leading telecommunications operators, today announced the launch of two new innovative voice and data roaming offers, designed to make it easier and cheaper for customers to stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues whilst travelling abroad within the EU.
These latest additions to the Orange Travel portfolio of roaming offers for both consumer and business customers will be available across the European network footprint from this summer, responding to customer demand for simple, transparent and cost-effective roaming services in line with its Orange Travel philosophy.
The new voice roaming offer, Favourite Countries, is the first service of its kind and will be of particular benefit to those that travel regularly abroad or those that live or operate on borders but will also have appeal to occasional roamers. Customers are charged an upfront monthly fee - EUR5 (EUR4.18 ex. VAT) in France for example and there are no hidden charges. Customers simply select a country or countries of their choice from a list of eligible countries and then benefit from discounted or national rates when calling anywhere in the EU from those countries. Favourite Countries is expected to deliver price reductions of between 18 and 60% off the regulated Eurotariff (outgoing rates), regardless of the network that the customer is roaming on. As an example, customers of Orange France will be charged EUR0.37 per minute (EUR0.31 ex.VAT), instead of EUR0.59 (EUR0.49 ex.VAT) for outgoing calls (this is a 37% saving) when calling abroad in their favourite country. The offer is available today in France and Romania and is being extended (subject to local adaptations(x)) to the UK, Spain, Belgium, Slovakia and Switzerland across the summer and to Poland in September. The offer will be further extended across Orange's African and Middle Eastern operations under the name 'Pays Sans Frontieres' by the end of 2008.
The second new addition to the roaming portfolio, Travel Data Daily makes it simpler and more affordable for occasional data roamers to access their emails and browse the web on their laptop or mobile device when traveling abroad. With Travel Data Daily, customers pay a fixed price removing the need to choose between standard roaming, hotspot or hotel charges. One upfront fee makes the offer simple, good value and predictable. The fixed price of Travel Data Daily will range from EUR12-15 (inc. VAT) for 50Mb for daily internet access within the EU. Travel Data Daily is expected to provide up to 90% savings for customers on standard data roaming prices. The offer will be rolled out across the summer months in UK, France, Spain, Poland, Belgium and Romania and by the end of the year in Slovakia.
The two new offers join Orange's broad range of Orange Travel roaming offers that respond to customers' different voice and data needs when roaming. Orange has developed segmented offers taking into the account the frequency of travel, the intensity of usage, and the type of device used. In 2007 Orange had 24 million Orange Travel customers and confirms a two digits increase in users in Q1 2008, compared with Q1 2007, indicating a favourable response to Orange's approach to roaming.
Orange already provides a range of protective measures to help customers avoid unexpected roaming costs such as SMS prompts that require the customer to agree to roaming rates before connecting. In addition, the company is introducing a number of new measures in 2008 that will see all laptop users across the Orange footprint benefiting from up-to-the-minute clarity on their data usage, both at home and abroad. Additionally, as standard across all Orange markets by the end of 2008, all voice and data roamers will also receive automated SMS alerts highlighting roaming charges and offering solutions such as Travel Data Daily.
"Our research shows that customers are not just looking for better value but also for greater simplicity and predictability in their roaming services," said Brigitte Bourgoin, Executive Vice President, Mobile Operations, Orange. "These new offers, which are consistent in concept but local in adaptation, directly respond to this customer demand.
"These offers also demonstrate that competition is alive and well in the roaming market. The data roaming market specifically is undergoing transformation from a business to business market to a mass market. As the volume of usage increases, as we are experiencing - with a three digits growth of data volumes (from 2006 to 2007) prices are and will continue to decrease."