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Orange France falters on lower handset sales

Multimedia not yet hitting the spot

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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Orange SA is struggling to meet its target of 15% of revenue growth this year and has blamed the low level of new customer growth in maturing markets and handset sales.

The mobile arm of France Telecom SA said that while revenue from its network is on target, handset sales are below expectations. Though handsets with color screens and cameras are on the market, chief executive Jean-Francois Pontal said that sales are not expected to surge until there is a wider choice of models.

While multimedia messaging services (MMS) are expected to herald a new period of growth, the industry has yet to conclude roaming agreements for the new services. This means that an obvious application of the new technology, sending holiday pictures to friends at home, is not possible from another country.

Orange said it is still on target to increase earnings at the EBITDA level by 43% to 4.7bn euros ($4.6bn) and expects its peak funding requirement to be no more than 8bn euros ($7.8bn), 2bn euros ($1.9bn) below its original target.

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