From Graham Bell to AI, the epic tale of telecoms

Orange today has more than 150,000 employees, a strong brand in 28 countries and 261 million customers worldwide. What gives us our identity is our Human Inside philosophy and also a rich and diverse history that helps to explain our evolution.

More than a telecoms operator, we’ve become a major player in many fields of digital innovation, which enables us to support our customers and continue to meet the major societal challenges experienced along the way. Looking back over more than a century, the Orange story is filled with innovations that have always focused on helping as many people as possible.

Relive the 150-year history of telecoms

Telegraph, text or virtual assistant, the world of telecoms has revolutionised how we talk. Here’s a recap on the key milestones that have shaped our story.

Story of a unique brand

3 questions to Béatrice Mandine, Executive VP Communications and Brand for the Group

  • What makes the Orange brand so unique?

    The Orange brand has always stood out for its friendly and straightforward values. I think the simplicity of the name, which can be associated in everyday language with a fruit or colour, contributed to our ability to form a close relationship with consumers. It’s also a way of focusing less on technology than on how people can make the most of it, and always maintaining a human touch as the starting point for our actions.

  • How does the Orange brand manage to unite its audiences?

    I think the answer lies in our ability to address some of the greatest societal challenges. In all the countries where we are present, we make sure the solutions we deploy are accessible to as many people as possible to promote digital inclusion. This ability to create a link is also inherent to us internally, where the adoption of a single brand has led to us sharing a common corporate culture.

  • What is the meaning behind the brand signature “It’s all about what matters to you”?

    In a world where new uses are appearing every day, “It’s all about what matters to you”, or “Vous rapprocher de l’essentiel” in French, is the promise we make to our customers to respond to universally shared needs. It also reflects what we’ve become: more than just a telecoms operator; we’re a player involved in everything that’s essential to our audiences.

    > Read the full interview with Béatrice Mandine

The history of the globalization of Orange brand

Story of a unique ecosystem

The telecoms sector occupies a unique position in the history of women’s work

To celebrate this road travelled over more than a century, Line Pélissier, Director of Career Paths and Recognition within Orange Group HR, speaks about the importance of diversity in the workplace as well as Orange’s approach to professional equality. 

> Read the interview

For more than a century, we’ve been contributing to major societal challenges to bring you closer to what matters

In Africa and Middle East, where Orange has been present since 1959

Did you know that one in two Africans is less than 20 years old? Alioune Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, tells you more about it and about out role of partner for the continent’s digital transformation.

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millions active mobiles
The symbolic bar crossed at the end of 2016 in Africa.
In 2021, there will be one billion smartphones, so one billion Internet access.

Orange, a key role in telecoms networks development, whether on land or under the ocean

The acceleration of internet uses is dizzying. Telecoms operators are facilitating this exponential growth thanks to the performance and agility of their data networks. These links travel over land, through the air and under the sea so people can access ever more information and communicate all around the world. 

  • Jérôme Barré, in your role as CEO of Orange Wholesale & International Networks, what’s your view on the development of the internet and its uses?

    The internet has only been accessible to the public for the last thirty years, yet its expansion can give you vertigo. In just a few decades, we’ve gone from a simple web search on a computer to always-on social media, massive content production across all screens and the Internet of Things. Today, computers, connected devices, tablets and smartphones are constantly connected to the world. By the end of 2022, it’s estimated that the volume of data transmitted will multiply by eight!

  • What is the role of the telecoms operator in this digital revolution?

    The quality of the internet experience depends to a large extent on the capacity of operators’ networks to transmit data. It takes a scalable and powerful infrastructure to enable ever increasing connectivity for screens, videos and information sharing. Operators anticipate increasing usage, invest in networks and guarantee a high-performing, secure and reliable connection.

  • You’ve mentioned massive data flows between countries and continents. How do you manage this data transport?

    It’s not well known, but it’s mainly submarine cables that can absorb the explosion of global digital data.On the Orange side, the Group relies on a submarine cable network stretching more than 450,000 km around the world.Our subsidiary Orange Marine is a global leader in the installation and maintenance of these fibre optic highways. Six cable ships lay, maintain, secure and repair undersea cables.

    > Read the interview of Jérôme Barré

Find out more? In 60 seconds, have a close look at the submarine cable network :

More information on that subject: the map of our international network

New territories for Orange

Orange has continued to evolve since the early days of fixed and mobile telephony in order to meet the new uses of our connected world. Why is the Group present in the fields of film or music? Why is it exploring domains as broad as banking or cyber security? Discover the new territories that Orange is entering.

The entertainment industry

If Orange is involved in the entertainment industry with the leading media companies, it’s to bring TV, film, series, music and video games to life. Our Group invests in content to distribute it to as many people as possible through our powerful networks. We also stage this content in an ever more innovative way. Virtual and augmented reality, immersive experiences, eSports and live streaming are all reinventing entertainment, as they play out against the backdrop of our Group’s strength in innovation.

Find out more, listen to the interview of David Kessler,  Director of Orange Content :

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The mobile finance industry

Encouraged by new mobile uses and consumer needs, financial services are also benefiting from advances in technology. If Orange is using its network and innovation capability to develop mobile banking, it’s because our Group is considered a trusted player, building close relationships with customers. We can also hold this position thanks to 10 years of experience in Africa, where 40 million customers in 17 countries can access simple and secure financial services thanks to Orange.   

Digital services are profoundly changing banking habits around the world. Neo-banks are attracting more and more customers of all generations.
> Find out more about the results of The Observatory of digital uses about what it calls “Afterbanking”.

Find out more, listen to the interview of Paul de Leusse, Director of Orange Bank :

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Orange Money celebrates its 10th birthday, flashback with Bernard Kouablan :

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The cyber security industry

Our Group’s expertise in securing networks and data positions us as a credible player in the cyber security industry. As a partner for business digital transformation, Orange is also an expert when it comes to data integrity. What’s more, since 2016, our Orange Cyberdefense subsidiary supports companies and professionals in their strategy to protect and defend their information systems.