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Orange today peeled the wraps off a series of European initiatives including a revamped portal known as Orange World, simplified tariffs, developments to the Orange Signature Phone series and the rollout of its phone trainer scheme beyond the UK.

The services go live in the UK, France and Switzerland next week and across other countries where Orange operates at the start of 2004, were announced in parallel with the firm's upbeat third quarter financial results,

The Orange World portal is designed to help customers personalise their phones and will include: an "Add this to your page" option to simplify personalisation of handsets; a "Send to a Friend" function to allow content sharing; and a "Get a Map" tool that will, presumably, come in handy if users get lost.

All of these services and content will be available from next week from all WAP and GPRS handsets - not just new phones - in the UK and France.

Orange is rolling out the European personalisation campaign following the success of Orange UK's Your Page. According to the company this service has attracted more than half-a-million users during the last six months.

Orange is also set to export its phone trainer scheme accross Europe. It says the in-shop training programme helped turn a five per cent sales decline in its UK retail outlets into a 20 per cent year-on-year increase.

Orange also promised that it will continue to develop it range of "Signature Phones", which are key to its plans for increasing non-voice revenue. Currently the SPV and SPV E100 phones have proved to be the most successful devices in the range. By 2005, Orange predicts, 25 per cent of sales will come from non-voice services. The company said that SPV customers on average access the Internet five times a day on average from the devices; more than 80 per cent have synchronised the phones with desktop computers. ®

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