2010 will see evolutionary step change, claims Orange UK CEO

In an effort to set the 2010 agenda for European celcos, the CEO of Orange UK, Tom Alexander, has declared that the industry is on the edge of the next evolutionary step in telecoms.

Alexander maintains that this step change will be triggered by the mainstream consumer adoption of smartphones. "Next year, we'll see even more of these devices to suit all budgets, and it won't just be mobile handsets--e-readers and tablets will also be more widespread, providing customers with an even richer multimedia experience. Alongside these devices will be more opportunities for customers to access the content they want, with a greater range of apps across even more mobile platforms. "

Slightly more riskily, the Orange CEO--shortly to become head of the merged Orange UK and T-Mobile UK--predicted that advertising-funded technology and services would start to play a big part. "We will be providing our customers with great brand offers, benefits and promotions that are not only timely, but highly relevant to them by including advertising-funded services in some of our mobile propositions," said Alexander--albeit that this strategy had failed to make headway in 2009 for other operators.

Of more interest was the company's decision to introduce HD voice across its network as part of its initiative to provide better quality calls for its subscribers, and to continue working with Barclaycard to further develop contactless payments.

While some observers might consider these objectives as less than challenging, what remained unmentioned is the herculean task faced by Alexander of successfully merging Orange and T-Mobile in the UK.

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