In the first example of a group-wide move towards a converged service offering, the UK branch of Orange has unveiled a landline offering for the SMB market, with plans for a branch-in-a-box (BiaB) customer premises device on which to deliver additional services, such as fixed-mobile convergence.
Orange’s UK branch has announced plans to launch a landline service for businesses.
The Orange Landline for Business offering is enabled by an agreement between the UK operation of France Telecom’s mobile division and Cable & Wireless, which is providing the network.
Jason Ellis, head of Orange Business Solutions, alluded to the LiveBox offering from Orange’s sister company, the ISP Wanadoo, as the kind of device that could in future go into an SMB as the platform for delivering services such as fixed-mobile convergence (FMC), VoIP and broadband.
The LiveBox itself is a device for the consumer market, enabling Wanadoo’s UK subscribers to make VoIP calls over its broadband connections. However, there is no reason why, after VoIP, Orange could not expand to some form of FMC, enabling an SMB to use its Orange mobile phones as cordless extensions on the Orange Landline when in the office.
Broadband is another possibility to be mentioned, which suggests a combined Orange-Wanadoo offering could be in the offing, particularly as the ISP is itself about to change its name and branding to Orange.
Whether the LiveBox itself could be upgraded for the purpose remains to be seen. The device is manufactured by Inventel, a French company acquired last year by consumer electronics (CE) heavyweight Thomson, which already has SMB offerings.
Besides Wanadoo, France Telecom is folding its WAN network provider Equant under the Orange brand, which suggests that broadband and WAN connectivity will both figure as part of a wider offering from the operator, and not only in the UK.