France Telecom votes to change name & brand to Orange

Doesn’t own the Orange brand in Israel, though

spot the difference - French or Israeli *

It is a widely held view that it is a good idea for mobile network operators not to emphasise their country of origin. Hence Deutsche Telekom uses the T-Mobile brand – especially important for the US market. Now, it seems that France Telecom has decided to rebrand itself. Rather than going for a simple FT as British Telecom did, France Telecom has voted at an annual general meeting to officially change its name to Orange. Only problem. It doesn’t own the Orange brand on a global basis – especially in Israel.

Now we all know that France Telecom took on the Orange brand when it acquired the UK MNO (Mobile Network Operator) off that name back in 2000.

France Telecom has used Orange as the brand name for its consumer and business services since 2006. Everyone is now familiar with the Orange logo.

Except that when France Telecom acquired Orange UK from Vodafone, it didn’t get the brand on a global basis.

That’s because Orange UK had been owned by Hutchison Telecom. Hutch sold the network to Germany’s Mannesmann but the German company was acquired in a bold move by Vodafone.

That left Vodafone with two networks in the UK so it sold Orange to France Telecom.

But – and its a big but, Hutchison didn’t release the Orange brand in Israel.

GoMo News recalls chatting to partner Networks in Israel who told us they weren’t the only ones to have kept using the original Orange brand.

Sadly, we don’t know who the other are but if you visit the Orange Israel site here you’ll see that it is officially operated by Partner Communications.

Partner is in turn owned by Scailex Corporation. Whilst we are on the subject, Orange was originally owned By Hutchison Whampoa which now, of course, owns MNOs using the brand name Three (certainly in the UK).

The FT (Financial Times not France Telecom) says that the changeover will take place on July 1t [2013] and its stock ticker will reflect that change.

Sadly, the FT didn’t say what the new ticker is.

Anyway, GoMo News wonders whether FT/Orange should think about changing the Orange logo. Just a thought.

  • Footnote
  • GoMo News is so old that we recall Orange UK sending out a Press release urging journalists to get the name of its parent company right. Sadly the release spelt it Hutchinson, too.

    * Israeli not French. Taken from Orange Israel web site.

    About Tony Dennis

    Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
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