Orange confirms 3G launch for UK

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Orange today firmed up the details of the UK launch of its 3G service.

We’ve posted the press release below, but the main points are

Mobile Office Card: first 3G product launched across UK in July
FreeMove alliance: roaming in Spain, Italy and Germany at launch
SonyEricsson and LG named as first 3G handset vendors in UK & FR

Orange is also claiming the most extensive integrated GPRS/3G networks going with over 60% of the population covered.

It’ll be interesting to see how the card differs from Vodafone’s 3G pc card offering.

There’s a full report from today’s conference plus mini reviews of the phones, cards etc in next Thursday’s Guardian.

ORANGE LAUNCHES UK?s LARGEST INTEGRATED HIGH-SPEED 3G NETWORK

· Mobile Office Card: first 3G product launched across UK in July
· FreeMove alliance: roaming in Spain, Italy and Germany at launch
· SonyEricsson and LG named as first 3G handset vendors in UK & FR

London. 1 July 2004. Orange, the mobile arm of the France Telecom Group, today

announced the launch of its first next generation high-speed network, products

and tariffs, designed to take its UK customers toward a ?mobile broadband?

experience across the largest integrated network in the country.

At launch on 19 July, Orange will have the most extensive integrated 2.5/3G

network in the UK, with 66% of the population covered by its high-speed network,

ensuring that even if customers move out of 3G coverage, they will not lose

their connection to the network. Orange has 3G coverage in major cities

including London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol, Belfast, Glasgow, Sheffield,

Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Leeds. Orange will also be taking

advantage of its position within the FreeMove alliance, giving UK business

customers the ability to access 3G services in Spain, Italy and Germany at

launch, as well as the 3G network of Orange in France. Orange and its FreeMove

partners have licences in 14 markets across Europe.

Orange is developing a range of business services, leveraging the high-speed

network, to give companies a faster and more productive way to work on the move.

The first of these to market will be the 3G Mobile Office Card in the UK.

Targeted at corporate and small business customers, it will be available to buy

in the UK from 19 July, complete with a transparent tariff structure and

offering speeds of up to 384 kbps. Already tried and tested by over 60 corporate

and medium-sized businesses (over 500 individual users) in the UK, it comes

complete with an easy-to-use ?dashboard? interface and will be compatible with

the majority of laptop PC?s offering faster access to email, the Internet and

intranet services as well as specific sales-force and business critical company

information.

Orange will be launching its next generation services in France this Autumn

(2004) with coverage available in over 20 cities. Almost 5,000 Orange customers

in France are already trialling video calling, video messaging, video

answerphone, fixed-to-mobile video calls, web conferencing and live video

services in many cities across France, including Toulouse, Lille, Bordeaux and

Cannes.

Sanjiv Ahuja, CEO of the Orange Group, said: ?With the launch of our first

high-speed network, we?ve begun to light up our map of Europe. This is a

milestone event for our customers, for Orange, and for the entire France Telecom

Group. We are now mobilising the broadband experience, delivering world class

products and services across our high-speed networks throughout Europe,

leveraging the experience we have gained through trials with thousands of

customers in the wireless environment, as well as the five years experience the

group has gained providing fixed broadband services.?

He added: ?Today brings us a vital step closer to realising our vision of a

truly integrated communication offering, giving our customers simple and

convenient ways to access the people, places and content they want.?

The Orange 3G Mobile Office Card solution utilises the Merlin U530? data

Wireless PC Modem Card from Lucent Technologies and Novatel Wireless. It offers

an intuitive software interface which is used to access high-speed, wide area,

wireless connectivity on the UMTS network. A range of competitive tariffs will

be available from Orange in the UK, including a flat rate tariff for just £75

per month. The 3G Mobile Office Card is available from £85 (excluding VAT). See

appendix for full tariff details.

Business customers will benefit from the support of a ?3G data card start-up

team? who are tasked with ensuring that the 3G Mobile Office Card is correctly

activated and configured to work smoothly with a company?s own network and

security systems. Once up and running, ongoing 24-hour customer support will be

available from a new specialist data support team. The Orange 3G Mobile Office

Card is the first solution of an extensive range of products and services for

corporate customers which will be launched this year across Europe as part of

France Telecom?s integrated ?Business Everywhere? offering.

John Allwood, Executive Vice-President of Orange UK, said: ?The Orange network

in the UK now provides our customers with the most comprehensive integrated 3G

coverage in the country, as well as the best value tariffs available and

services that can be used in more places than with any other network.?

?We began testing our next generation network in Bristol five years ago. Back

then, Orange became the first mobile company to make a call across a

next-generation network. Now, with half a decade of rigorous testing and

experience behind us, we are launching our new services to customers offering

them the most effective, compelling and integrated solution available.

?By focusing on every aspect of the customer?s interaction with us, we are

setting the industry bench-mark, delivering the best network coverage, the

smoothest network handover, transparent pricing, fast access to compelling

services and the most comprehensive after-sales care.?

The Orange 3G Mobile Office Card will be compatible with the majority of laptops

PC?s, providing the flexibility and choice Orange business customers require.

Nick Eades, Marketing Director for Fujitsu Siemens Computers Ltd, said: ?The

growth of mobile data solutions based on new 3G services is certain to enable

competitive advantage for many businesses. Early experiences of our LIFEBOOK?

range of notebook computers confirms the levels of performance and simplicity of

operation from the Orange 3G package which users have been waiting for.?

Orange will be launching next generation handsets and services in the UK and

France later in the year, with SonyEricsson and LG announced as its first 3G

handset vendors.

ends

Appendix

Orange UK Tariffs for 3G data usage
|————+————+————+————+————+————|
| | | | | | |
| | Pay as you | Low | Medium | High | Unlimited |
| | consume | | | | |
| | | | | | |
|————+————+————+————+————+————|
| | | | | | |
| Data Card | | | | | |
| (ex. VAT) | | | | | |
| | £255 | £170 | £128 | £110 | £85 |
| | | | | | |
|————+————+————+————+————+————|
| | | | | | |
| Monthly | | | | | |
| access fee | | | | | |
| | n/a | £10 | £20 | £45 | £75 |
| | | | | | |
|————+————+————+————+————+————|
| | | | | | |
| Monthly | | | | | |
| bundle | | | | | |
| (Mb) | n/a | 7Mb | 65Mb | 400Mb | n/a (fair |
| | | | | | |
| | | | | | usage*) |
| | | | | | |
|————+————+————+————+————+————|
| | | | | | |
| Out of | | | | | |
| bundle | | | | | |
| rates (per | £2.00 | £1.50 | £1.00 | £0.50 | n/a |
| Mb) | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
|————+————+————+————+————+————|

* Fair usage policy: up to 1 Gb per month

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