..was able to catch up with a few friends this week and all of them spoke about Orange. The common theme being that five years ago they felt that the Network was capable of driving forward when it came to 3G and how they have dropped the ball.
On a simple level, the question for the French is would they rather have an excellent network or a pile of cash?
However it is not as simple as that. With more Intelligent Design they could have given users a mobile network that would have delivered the vision presented at the time of the 3G auctions. We looked at just what was possible, and soon became disappointed about just how Orange seem to have lost any focus. On a very simple level, when you visit the Orange website, just how hard is it to buy a phone?
Talking about the market outside of the UK and what you see is that Music is something that works in Europe and further, in Spain and Italy over 20% of digital Music is downloaded onto a mobile.
How that we have a system that means that Data services are able what was the reason for closing Wildfire? This was a service that was used by high spending Contract customers that allowed them to have an extended PIM service. Mobile Web 2.0 is about mash-ups and widgets, perhaps when I attend MoMo London next week I might see something that replaces Wildfire, will it be able to run on my Orange Sony Ericsson handset, I do not think so!
Someone from Orange told me that they were doing well in Prepaid with 18% of new customers being SIM only. My reply, what is there to be proud of the fact that most of your new customers feel that taking a contract over 18 months is not worth a free handset!
With a change of the guard at Orange would we be able to sit down in a few years and say that with a man who is focused on Customer Service they have once again got there MOJO back? The only way that we will know if things are changing is that the number of Advisors declines and products are killed off to allow them to focus on the basics.