France Telecom (FT) Orange has assembled a small team to build the company's brand in countries where it currently has no operations, according to a Les Echos report. The first country to be targeted is South Africa as part for FT's wider ambitions to grow its presence in Africa, the report said, without citing its sources.
The FT Orange unit has been given the code name "Okavango" and, according to Les Echos, is headed by Sébastien Crozier who reports directly to FT's director of strategy, Elie Girard.
The objective of the new unit is to promote the international value of the Orange brand together with the assets controlled by the company. This includes the company's telecom networks, its relationships with advertising agencies and large content portfolios.
The company's first moves in South Africa will involve Orange sponsoring major sporting events such as the African Cup of Nations in January 2013. This could include the installation of FT Orange-branded point-of-sale terminals to sell Orange SIM cards to South African residents planning to visit France.
The company also indicates that these local FT Orange teams could be used to provide market research back to the company's headquarters prior to it making any decision to enter the country as an MVNO or network operator.
- see this Les Echos article (translated via Google Translate)
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