Orange telecoms firm officially launches operations in DRC
French-owned integrated telecommunications services provider Telecom-Orange has today officially launched its operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) under the Orange brand, giving a new dynamism to its operations initially marketed under the Congo Chine Telecom (CCT) brand in the country.
Telecom-Orange said it plans to bring its technical and commercial and research and development expertise to the DRC.
“Our objective is to harness the power of a large Group in order to benefit the Congolese population,” Jean-Léon Bonnechère, CEO of Orange DRC, said.
Since Orange acquired CCT in October last year, the company has invested close to 87.4 billion Congolese francs (approx $95 million) in the DRC for expansion and network upgrade, enabling it to offer extensive, first-rate coverage across the country.
The telecoms firm also set up DRC’s first 3G+ network across major cities including Kinshasa, expected to be switched on in Lubumbashi and Matadi soon. Orange says that in early 2013, the network will also cover Goma, Bukavu and Mbuji-Mayi.
In the initial stages, Orange says it will establish a chain of 22 own-branded retail outlets across the country to position it full range of its mobile offerings. Afterwards, the offerings will be made available through 22,000 indirect points of sale to be set up across the DRC.
Orange DRC has since rolled out a program of 18,000 hours of training to maintain the Group’s high-quality technical and commercial standards and recruited additional employees bringing its total staff to more than 600 people. The firm says it can rely on more than 30,000 distributors and partners.
“We think that there is a strong desire for simple, dynamic and innovative services in the DRC, a country with incredible development potential; it is the Group’s ability to meet these requirements that makes Orange one of the most renowned brands in the world,” Bonnechère said.
He added that the company is committed to giving access to a reliable, high-quality network and to the possibilities offered by mobile broadband services using the 3G+ network.
Commenting on the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) Orange DRC said it will support DRC’s socio-economic development through socially responsible corporate activities in the fields of healthcare and education through its Orange Foundation, which will be operational in 2013.
Orange DRC has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the France Telecom-Orange group since the acquisition of CCT in October 2011.
With sales of nearly 45.3 billion Euros for 2011 and a customer base of 227 million people as at 30 September 2012, France Telecom-Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators. The company operates in 33 countries worldwide.