M2M becomes strategic focus for Orange

Having denied that it has any ambitions to again bid for the Scandinavian telco Telenor, France Telecom Orange has outlined four key strategies for its five year business plan.

Of note within its 'Conquest 2015' plan to become 'the global leader for the integration of communication solutions' is the objective to sell 10 million SIM cards into the M2M sector by 2015.

The company said that the success of M2M, which is one of the four key goals over the next five years for Orange Business Services (OBS), would be significantly helped by its international expertise centre based in Brussels and its role as the driving force for the standardisation of the market.

Commenting on the plan, Vivek Badrinath, head of France Telecom's OBS, said that the biggest corporate clients were "cautiously optimistic" about economic conditions and planning to catch up on deferred investments.

"In many cases the technology demand is back now, and that is what we are hoping to harness," Badrinath said. "I think things are waking up after a period that's been quite cold and cautious, and the big corporate clients are becoming more active in this space."

The other three key business objectives for OBS are cloud computing--which it wants to see generating €500 million by 2015, becoming the leading provider in France of video conferencing services, and generating €1 billion in revenues from emerging countries.

In an attempt to squash any further speculation of mega-mergers with other telcos (Deutsche Telekom was mentioned last week), Badrinath said that the company's acquisition strategy was going to be focused on certain technologies that it needed to occasionally access, and expertise. "We don't see major consolidation opportunities at this stage."

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