By Maximilian Clarke

Speaking today (Wednesday) at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Orange’s Vice President for Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia made the bold statement that the company would either dominate the various high growth markets and become the regions' number one or two operator, or pull out entirely.

Commenting on the announcement, made during a roundtable discussion at the WMC, Eden Zoller, Principal analyst at Ovum discusses some considerations Orange must make in order to rise to the top of the volatile high growth markets:

“The challenge facing Orange is how to build out network infrastructure cost economically, particularly in larger African markets. Rennard said network sharing will help with this.

“The other challenge is moving users beyond voice and SMS to more advanced data services. Rennard said that Orange would be interested in joining forces with other operators to collectively source phones for emerging markets, using their collective buying power to pass cost benefits onto consumers.

“However, the pricing of data services beyond SMS to price sensitive consumers is an issue that needs to be addressed and this is problematic. Rennard did not have any easy answers but said part of the answer lies in new business models for mobile broadband. Exactly what these business models should be was not clear, particularly as Rennard had reservations about how far mobile advertising can help in this context.”

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