France Telecom (FT) Orange has secured a contract to host MVNO Ortel Mobile on its network in France. The deal will see Bouygues Telecom lose out after having supported Ortel since it launched into the French market in early 2010.
Commenting on the switch to FT Orange, Ortel CEO Gerben Wijbenga said in a statement: "We are pleased to announce this agreement with FT Orange that will allow us to offer attractive and innovative products to our customers in France, combining the strengths of Ortel Mobile with those of a large multinational operator."
Ortel does not plan on severing its relationship with Bouygues Telecom though, and current customers have their SIM cards locked to the Bouygues network. "All new SIM cards issued will be on the Orange network," an Orange spokesman told Dow Jones Newswires. "For all existing customers, nothing will change...[but] new customers will be Orange."
The win for FT Orange reinforces its leading position in the French MVNO sector by hosting around half of all MVNOs. In total, MVNOs now represent 10 per cent of the French mobile market.
Brigitte Bourgoin, executive vice president of FT Orange's wholesale division, said in a statement: "I am delighted with this agreement that shows our active position in this promising market segment and reinforces our leadership as the leading MVNO partner in France."
Ortel Mobile, a KPN Mobile subsidiary, currently operates in six European countries and already uses the FT Orange network in Spain and Switzerland. The company says it is looking to maintain its position as market leader in the multicultural segment, with a focus on non-native speakers.
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