French Telecom Giant May Be Entering Canadian Wireless Market
Representatives of Orange Horizons have met with the CRTC, Industry Canada, and Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service to talk about “wireless opportunities”, the newspaper’s sources say. Orange Horizons is a subsidiary of French telecom giant Orange SA that was launched in January to find new business opportunities in markets where the company isn’t present.
But don’t expect the French wireless player to invest billions of dollars building its own wireless network or bid for spectrum, as it is missing from the list of qualified bidders. According to people familiar with the talks, the company would be interested in cheaper options such as launching a “mobile virtual network operator” (MVNO) like Petro–Canada Mobility and PC Mobile.
The talks are in the early stages, so an Orange spokesperson denied any potential interest in Canada.
“Orange’s overall M&A strategy is focused on consolidation and the development of areas of strategic interest, particularly in Africa. This prudent and selective strategy precludes any major investments,” an Orange spokesperson said to the Globe and Mail.
However, the Globe and Mail’s sources say the company is scanning the globe for new opportunities for growing its revenue stream.
Even so, sources say Orange is closely monitoring developments in various countries to assesses new opportunities for revenue growth. Its Orange Horizons subsidiary was launched in January to find “new business opportunities” in markets where it does not provide telecom services. “Such projects could include the launch of online stores selling telecoms-related equipment or airtime; the introduction of flexible travel solutions [roaming packages]; or the launch of a virtual mobile operator (MVNO) activity,” states a press release from earlier this year.
Orange currently has 400 employees in Montreal. The Paris-based carrier ranks as the world’s eighth-largest carrier, with 174.7 million mobile subscribers.