Previewing Orange’s ‘La Collection’ 2010 – Pt. 2: Richer Communications

In this second part summary of Orange’s ‘La Collection’ 2010, we look at how Orange is trying to make communications richer and more emotive.

These products and services are expected for release in France, UK, Spain and beyond, over the next 6-12 months.

Orange Softphone

With this software install for you mobile handset, Orange lets users benefit from ‘fixed-line services’ from their mobile phone.  This service gives all household members a fixed line in their pocket, when they are connected to their home Wifi hotspot. The Softphone offers users a number of benefits:

  • Fixed-line service – Outgoing calls from the Softphone benefit from fixed-line rates and conditions, which currently include  flat-rate, unlimited calling to local fixed numbers. Unlimited fixed-line calls to 60+ country-destinations are also available as an add-on service.
  • HD Voice – High definition voice quality combined with better service coverage, should improve the overall conversation experience.
  • Simultaneous ringing – All fixed and Softphones ring during incoming calls, allowing users to answer the nearest phone.
  • Multiple lines – This optional service allows several users to make simultaneous outgoing calls, at fixed-line rates.
  • Mobile directory access – Users can use their mobile phone directory to make outgoing Softphone calls, eliminating the need to look-up contacts and dial numbers on a separate fixed phone.

The Orange SoftPhone will be compatible with the iPhone, as well as Android, Symbian and Window’s mobile-based phones. Specific pricing conditions (if any) where not mentioned, but the Softphone is expected for release by mid-2010.

Livephone Touch

After Verizon with its home Hub device, Orange is the next major service provider to offer users a flexible, multimedia, home communication centre allowing them to easily communicate and get timely information through a large, Internet-based, touch-screen tablet.

The Orange Livephone Touch features include:

  • Touch-screen call service control – Using the large, touch screen, users can easily manage their common calling services, including conference calling, call-transferring, visual phone directory, and send SMS’s.
  • Multimedia services – Users can access online directory services, geo-map a caller’s location, get weather or traffic information, Internet radio or other multimedia information.
  • Portable Internet Tablet – Users can access multimedia services or surf the web from anywhere in the house by taking the Wifi-enabled Internet tablet with them.
  • HD Voice – High definition voice offers greater clarity for conversations.
  • Visual Voice Mail – Like on the iPhone, this service allows users to visually identify voice mail messages, while listening to them in the desired order.

The device is expected for release towards the end of 2010. No pricing information is available yet, though users will requires a Orange Livebox subscription.

Rich Communications

According to French market research, close to 70% of people’s communications are with our 5 closest contacts. Based on such findings, and new mobile communication standards, Orange wants to enrich and reinforce your ties with your closest contacts.

Using a self-configured, home screen, users will get easy and direct access to information on their closest contacts, including:

  • Global Communications View – A single view of all messages, calls, and voice mails sent and/or received to/from your closest contacts.
  • Richer Contact Profile – An enriched contact profile, allowing users to add photos, contact info, favourite websites, and ‘online status’, all updated in real-time to their closest contacts.
  • Status Update – As with popular social Web services like Facebook or Twitter, users can now easily provide information on their current mood or activities, and share it with their closest contacts. The information is instantly visible on their contacts home call screen.

The Rich Communication services will pre-installed on upcoming Orange mobile phones, starting in the first half of 2010. It will first be offered in France and then progressively rolled-out to other Orange countries. The service will be compatible across service providers.

On

This is a Web-based service for mobile phones, allowing users to stay connected with the people who matter. It lets them know when people are free or busy and what they are up to.

The primary benefits for users of this free service are:

  • Selective Information Sharing – Different levels of user information can be made available by personalized contact groups (ex. Family, Friends, Work, Everyone else). This includes defining which groups can disturb you, as well as how and when.
  • Availability Status-based Communication – Connecting with your contacts, based on their availability. Users can communicate with them by phone, voice mail, IM, e-mail or Tweet, all while having a consolidate view of all past converstations.
  • Consolidated Social Network Feeds – Retrieval of social Web feeds, in real-time from those that interest users, without having to log into different web services.

On will be offered at no extra charge, and will be unveiled in Paris on Dec 8, 2009. Initially it will be available in France and the UK, for Android and iPhone devices. Compatibility with Symbian and Windows Mobile devices will follow in 2010.

More information is available on the Life is Better On website.

By offering its clients richer, more emotive and timely ways for communicating with those who matter, regardless of device, Orange is striving to become more relevant in peoples lives. The services showcased add value to Orange customers’ existing Home and Mobile communication offers, which may ultimately drive customer satisfaction if executed effectively.

By enhancing some of its core communication services, Orange probably hopes to increase ARPU through optional services fees and increased paid usage. In the end though, it is probably looking at these developments as a way to increase customer loyalty, for its mobile business and home LiveBox offers, both of which are under increasing price competition for new and existing players.

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