Posted on 28-Apr-2004 23:00
Filed under: News
Orange is celebrating its tenth birthday 28 April 2004. The operator Orange was launched in the UK on 28 April 1994, the fourth entrant in the country's mobile market. In ten years it has become the UK’s biggest mobile phone company in terms of customer numbers, with over 13.6 million active customers. The Orange group has over 49 million customers worldwide, operating in 19 countries: the UK, France, Switzerland, Romania, Denmark, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Thailand, the Ivory Coast, the Dominican Republic, Cameroon, the Netherlands, Botswana and Madagascar. The Orange group also has controlled operations in Belgium (Mobistar). The Orange group has a joint controlling interest in Egypt (MobiNil) and minority interests in Portugal (Optimus), Austria (One), and Mumbai/India (BPL Mobile).
The British mobile phone market began with two licences granted in the early 1980’s. Consumers signed a three-year contract, paid connection fees and £25 a month before making a single call. Only 4% of households had mobile phones.
According to the company, in 1994 the mobile phone market was confusing, complicated and expensive. Orange was the first to offer features such as per second billing, Caller ID, and itemised billing free of charge. Orange put an end to ‘line rental’ by including free minutes in customers’ monthly charges.
In just 10 years, Orange has become the UK’s biggest mobile communications company (with over 13 million customers). As at 1 April 2004, 89% of the UK population has a mobile phone. There are now over 51 million mobile connections in the UK, and the mobile phone has become an essential element of many people’s lifestyles.’
To mark the event, Orange employees in London, Bristol, Plymouth, Peterlee, Darlington, and North Tyneside will start a worldwide 10th birthday walk challenge and dressing up in costumes representing the 10 years Orange has been operating in the UK.
Orange continues to innovate. Since launch, innovations include Europe’s first tree mast, the world’s first Microsoft Windows powered smartphone, the Orange SPV, and phone trainers to help customers make the most of their Orange phones.
This year Orange will launch two compelling business offerings, Talk Now, Europe’s first Push to Talk service, while the Orange M2M Connect platform was launched in March 2004, offering a combined network and data platform that makes machine-to-machine solutions more cost effective and easier to implement and use.