31 March 2020

Covid-19: how Orange is ensuring digital service continuity

In the context of this unprecedented situation, Orange is fully mobilised in its role as a service provider. Around the world, whether to stay in touch with loved ones, work from home or continue to communicate whatever the circumstances, our customers can count on our network and teams working on the front line to ensure continuity of service for all their necessary solutions.

 

Network reliability during lockdown

The current lockdown has changed everything from working from home to home schooling and videoconferencing… virtual communication is taking over from physical communication and data traffic is growing exponentially. Stay-at-home measures are accelerating the phenomenon and prompting a sharp increase in activities such as online games and video streaming during the day.

 

 

Our networks are supporting our new lifestyles since they are designed to support traffic peaks. In usual times, these peaks tend to happen in the early evening and during the broadcast of events to a large audience such as sports and popular TV series. The increase in daytime traffic linked to teleworking can therefore be absorbed by our existing capabilities. Each year, the volume of data consumed increases by 40% so operators already anticipate increases and are prepared for peaks such as the one we are currently experiencing.

 

An efficient global network

 

 

Operators’ fixed and mobile networks are designed to withstand the period we are going through [...] Our network is designed to absorb considerable traffic and has been built to anticipate an ongoing increase in usag.

Stéphane Richard CEO of Orange - Friday 20 March, talking to Alba Ventura.

 

 

To guarantee safe and efficient connections even during sharp increases in traffic, we use more than 18,000km of optical fibre, more than 450,000km of submarine cables and 2,500 international satellite links in addition to our fixed and mobile networks deployed throughout our operating countries.  
In each country, both on a day-to-day basis and in times of crisis, Orange Service Management Centres continue to analyse customer service quality. At a global level, our Network Traffic Management Centre centralises control and detects problems and traffic peaks round the clock. “We monitor and measure network activity but also analyse how our customers’ data is travelling on our international networks so that we can adjust our capacity to their requirements,” says Christian Pomiès, head of the Network Traffic Management Centre.
Our Business Continuity Plans in France and around the world have already ensured we’ve been able to maintain our customers’ services on numerous occasions during major global crises (natural disasters, political crises, pandemics etc) over the past two decades.

 

An adaptable global network to support traffic peaks

Since the beginning of the crisis, our international infrastructures and networks have been in high demand to meet an unprecedented change in usage. Firstly, an explosion of data: “80% of the traffic generated by French internet users goes to the USA,” states Jean-Luc Vuillemin. Transatlantic links have consequently experienced significant growth. “New links have been activated urgently to avoid potential congestion. Uses linked to Facebook, YouTube and Netflix require greater bandwidth and there has also been an explosion in traffic linked to Messenger and WhatsApp. Our teams have worked hard to overcome this situation,” he adds.

 

 

New links have been activated urgently to avoid potential congestion. Uses linked to Facebook, YouTube and Netflix require greater bandwidth and there has also been an explosion in traffic linked to Messenger and WhatsApp. Our teams have worked hard to overcome this situation.

Jean-Luc Vuillemin. Executive Vice President International Networks

 

 

Le recours massif des entreprises au télétravail a également fortement sollicité nos réseaux internationaux. Nous avons  par conséquent mis en place des dimensionnements de notre réseau mondial dédié aux entreprises. Certaines routes, notamment en Inde, en Asie et aux Etats Unis, ont dû absorber une très forte augmentation du trafic.

Le volume des connexions voix a connu une croissance fulgurante ces trois dernières semaines tant à l’international qu’au niveau des entreprises. Nos équipes adaptent le réseau avec proactivité pour éviter une congestion de trafic dans plusieurs pays.

In a business context, the massive use of remote working has placed a heavy strain on our international networks. We have therefore resized our global network dedicated to businesses. Certain routes, notably in India, Asia and the USA, have had to absorb a massive increase in traffic.   

Voice traffic has also grown dramatically over the past three weeks both internationally and at a corporate level. Our teams are adapting the network proactively to avoid traffic congestion in several countries.

 

Service quality guaranteed in France

Our teams are fully mobilised to keep our French networks up and running, maintaining internet and telephone services where needed for individuals, companies and communities. Our role is first and foremost to ensure the health and safety of our employees and partners working on the front line. That’s why, during a period when networks are very busy, we prioritise certain call-outs – in particular to shielded or vulnerable people – and postpone others. 

 

Our solutions: when digital provides an alternative

Individual and business customers, communities and health providers can all count on our service and support during this period.  
To help our business customers to continue to operate during the pandemic, Orange Business Services has increased the capacity of its networks and service platforms to provide remote working solutions such as Open Videopresence and Audio and Web Conferencing.
Our Orange Healthcare & Enovacom solutions, used by more than half of all French health facilities, allow providers to launch emergency plans and mobilise medical teams during this crisis period.