Orange plans expansion in North Africa while ending ties with Israel to strenghten Middle East relationship

June 7
8:33 AM 2015

Orange CEO Stephane Richard announced expansion plans in North Africa. The French mobile company has recently launched 4G service in Jordan while its representative expressed willingness to end ties with Israel.

The company plans to establish Orange North Africa via Tunisia and Morocco as its CEO Stephan Richard announced at a news event in Cairo, Egypt. Reports say that Orange's way to tap the Middle East market is through its North Africa expansion. Orange anticipates better revenue from the expansion due to its population's early transition phase to smart phones. Part of the expansion plan is to bring new investors on board by selling shares from its Egypt-based subsidiary Mobinil. Orange launched its 4G services consistent with its Middle East plans.

Urban areas in Amman, Kingdom of Jordan will be the first to experience Orange's 70 MB per second 4G service.  The rest of the country will soon use the service as the French company plans a quick roll out. Its marketing strategy includes pricing and quality control as it aims to extend the service to all consumer segments. The Orange 4G facility is built by Huawei from its March deal which also entails upgrades for its earlier network versions. Its current 3G network currently serves 75% of Jordan's population. While Orange expands in Africa and its neighboring regions, the company announced its current plans in Israel.

Orange news conference in Cairo revealed the company's intentions to end ties with Israel Partner Communication Ltd as expressed by Orange CEO Stephane Richard. Israel's control over Palestinian territories reportedly triggered the decision. The CEO addressed journalists with a statement saying "Our intention is to withdraw from Israel. It will take time but for sure we will do it. Believe me I would cancel the contract tomorrow if I could."

Richard's statements prompted Partner Communications to consider ending its agreement with Orange and file a lawsuit against Richard for his boycott remarks.

Partner Communications Ltd had reportedly considered launching its own brand a few years ago and therefore separating from Orange. Orange's statement to end its affiliation with Partner may have come from reports that Arab pressures the company to end its relationship with Israel.

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