Feeds

Call me maybe: Orange loses a segment as competition bites

We can't compete with free... and no one's making proper phone calls anymore

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Former French monopoly mobile operator Orange has reported that its earnings and revenue are both down, despite increased customer numbers, as price-cutting hits the bottom line.

Orange, the operator formally known as France Telecom, has customers around Europe and Africa, but not in the UK where it remains part owner of independent subsidiary EE, which is a shame because over the last three months, competition in Europe has been intense – with France in particular failing to perform.

Earnings before deductions (EBITDA) are down more than seven per cent over the last quarter, while revenue was down 5.7 per cent despite growth in Africa and the Middle East. Orange has been cutting costs too, and will pay an 80 Euro cent share dividend from stockpiled cash with confident predictions of being back into profit next year despite competition from upstarts, and incumbents, hitting hard.

In France, Orange is fighting off Free Mobile, which is punting free calls and cheapo packages which are expected to drive down French ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) by another 10 per cent next year following a 12 per cent drop this year. The company reckons the premium it can charge for higher speeds will slow that decline, and floating off EE will provide plenty of income to keep things ticking over next year.

European operators are all in trouble, and the numbers from Orange foretell rocky times ahead. The cost of phone calls has always dropped annually, but historically this has been matched by an increase in use, resulting in an ARPU which remained roughly static. But last year saw the first ever decline in voice minutes used, painting a grim picture for operators still dependent on voice revenue to subsidise cheap data.

European customers are, eventually, going to have to get used to paying US prices for their mobile data, but the transition is unlikely to be bloodless, so early indications should be sounding alarm bells. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.