FT Orange targets new revenues with launch of 'Horizons' subsidiary

France Telecom (FT) Orange is launching a new subsidiary with the aim of building new business partnerships in countries where the company is not present.

Orange Horizons will look to leverage FT's mobile brand and generate new revenues streams from business opportunities outside the operator's existing footprint. These could include, the company said in a statement, the launch of online stores selling telecoms-related equipment or airtime, the launch of an MVNO or the introduction of flexible travel solutions.

FT has announced the first Horizons project with the launch in South Africa of two web sites targeted at selling telecoms-related devices and accessories, together with online content specifically tailored for a South African audience.

A similar e-commerce initiative has also been unveiled in Italy offering telecoms products and services, with airtime deals becoming available shortly for Orange customers visiting from other countries.

The company said it plans to launch Horizons ventures in several countries in Europe and Africa this year, and will also look at opportunities in South America to take advantage of existing content-related products such as its starMedia, a South American internet portal.

FT Orange VP of Strategy and International Development Elie Girard said in statement: "Orange Horizons is a very exciting project that fits perfectly in the Group's overall Conquests 2015 strategy. Due to traditional migratory flows or cultural and professional ties, there are many countries where Orange is already very well-known despite not having an operational presence. We think there is strong potential to create a new source of revenues in these countries by leveraging awareness of the brand to propose very simple mass-market offers."

Earlier this week, Girard told Reuters that the operator was looking to expand its presence in fast-growing African mobile markets by entering Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso and Mauritania. He added that FT's African ambitions also included signing management contracts with telecom groups in Libya and Algeria.

While Girard admitted no talks were underway, he said: "If we manage to enter Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso and Mauritania, for example, that would be very valuable for us." He said the countries' proximity to Orange's existing operations in Mali and Senegal made them more attractive.

For more:
- see this France Telecom release
- see this Reuters article

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