Offering optimum connectivity
We guarantee our customers the best connectivity, with optimum throughput, volume and quality through a mix of submarine cables, land networks, fibre and radio. Between 2015 and 2018, we invested €17 billion in our networks to meet a growing range of emerging needs, including increasing numbers of screens, VOD services, professional mobile apps, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. We have primarily focused on extending 4G coverage in Europe and in Africa and the Middle East, continuing to deploy fibre and building a submarine information superhighway.
Stepping up fibre deployment for very high-speed broadband
Orange is boosting connectivity at home with FTTH (Fibre to the Home) technology, which makes it possible to offer individuals data throughput of up to 1 Gbit/s, which will increase to 10 Gbit/s through equipment upgrades. At the end of 2018, Orange calculated that 32.5 million homes around the world were connectable to very high-speed broadband. We provide broadband and very high-speed broadband to 14 million homes in Spain and 12 million homes in France through our fibre networks. In Slovakia, a total of 467,000 homes now receive FTTH. At the end of 2018, we carried almost 70% of all the fibre optic rolled out throughout the whole of France and signed six new agreements for Public Initiative Networks with local authorities. In Africa and the Middle East, fibre is distributed in Jordan, Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco, Senegal and Mali. Still on the subject of very highspeed broadband, but this time in space, in 2018, Orange finalised an agreement with Eutelsat to offer high quality internet access via satellite to all its customers in Europe, especially people living in rural areas.
Our situation is rather unusual, given that most of our people are based out at sea. By improving connectivity on our ships, the crews can now access the internet more easily, which facilitates business communication but also helps them to stay in touch with their friends and family. That makes a huge difference on board.
Operators need to invest heavily to extend and improve network quality and capacity (4G, 5G, fibre, etc.).
To attract and retain a hyperconnected audience, the network has to work flawlessly, even when you’re three floors underground!
4G for everyone
Orange consolidated its footprint in European 4G and 4G+ networks, increasing its coverage to nearly 100% in certain countries like Belgium and Poland. We are the leading operator in terms of customers in seven of our eight operating countries in Europe. In Slovakia, Orange 4G is available to 94% of the population. We also signed an agreement with the government and two other operators to provide country-wide broadband coverage by 2020. Orange offers the most widespread mobile coverage in France, reaching 99% of the population via 3G+ and over 98% via 4G. By the end of 2019, we will have finished upgrading almost all of our 3G radio sites into 4G. In Africa and the Middle East, 4G has outpaced 3G in terms of network data traffic volumes, now totalling over 2 GB per month per customer. 4G is currently used by nearly 17 million customers across 12 countries. By 2019, Orange 4G covered 93% of the population in Egypt, 62% in Senegal and 50% in Botswana. We will continue to roll out the network, primarily in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone. At the same time, we have deployed a radio network in six countries in Africa and the Middle East using Long-Term Evolution-Time Division Duplex (LTE-TDD), a 4G telecommunications technology, to bring fixed internet connectivity to homes that are not connected via ADSL or fibre.
56 million 4G customers around the world
Convergence at the heart of our strategy
In Europe, deploying our very high-speed broadband has given us a competitive advantage in fixed/mobile convergence – an area that we are already spearheading with 10.9 million customers at end-2018. The greater pace of growth in mobile contract and fixed broadband customers was driven by the success of our Love convergence offers on the continent. In Poland for example, Orange Love is the most popular package for homes, exceeding the 1 million customer mark in October 2018.
France heading towards full IP
Orange is currently upgrading its landline network in France to better satisfy changing customer needs and guarantee the highest possible quality of service. Telephony services currently use the old fixed switched telephone network (STN), but are increasingly moving towards Internet Protocol (IP) technology, which has emerged as a global standard. Since the end of 2018, new fixed telephone lines have been built using Voice over IP (VoIP) technology. The STN will continue to run for all existing lines, with gradual migration scheduled to begin around the end of 2023.
mobile network in France
for the 8th year running
in the ARCEP ranking
of fibre roll-out in France
completed by Orange
connectable to FTTH in Europe
of fibre optic submarine cable
installed by Orange Marine since 1985
working solely on networks
throughout the world
Connectivity and operator services
Orange sells connectivity solutions to specialist telephony providers, domestic and international operators in the wholesale and retail markets as well as content and internet service providers. In 2018, we brought all these solutions together within a single entity named Wholesale International Networks. Our long-distance land, submarine and satellite network infrastructure, as well as our local presence throughout the world, enables us to offer connectivity to over 200 internet service providers serving end users in over 220 countries. In 2018, in order to make internet traffic routes more secure and meet ever-increasing customer demand, we:
- opened a single access point between Asia, the Middle East and West Africa by connecting several submarine cables via a new land connection between Marseille and Penmarch in France;
- signed an agreement to invest in the MainOne submarine cable to boost growth in our fixed and mobile services in Africa, especially in Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal;
- pooled our resources with Google for the new Dunant submarine cable that will connect France to the US and consolidate our position as market leader on the international wholesale capacity market;
- finalised a partnership with PCCW Global to deploy the PEACE submarine cable (Pakistan & East Africa Connecting Europe), which will strengthen ties between the world’s three most populated continents, connecting Pakistan, Djibouti, Kenya, Egypt and France.
In 2018, we celebrated 40 years of satellite communications at Bercenay-en-Othe in France, a strategic facility that provides connectivity services for a wide range of business customers. We are also developing enriched data and connectivity services for operators. For example, Ethernet Now provides bandwidth on demand for our wholesale customers, allowing them to manage their Ethernet connections via an online platform.