Innovation: central to the Group’s growth
With worldwide growth in exchanges, an exponential increase in bandwidth and the regular launch of new services and content, the world of telecommunications today faces many challenges. In a constantly changing environment, network innovation represents one of the Group’s principal levers for growth.
Today, the customer is at the heart of a global communications network hosting a wide range of services. Our principal ambition is to keep making our services more reliable, simple and easy to use, but also to offer new services to meet identified needs.
In light of the explosion in traffic and use, particularly in video, we also have to develop our networks. Demand for super-fast broadband is present everywhere. New applications are being born every day in the Internet world, which change traffic, sometimes from one day to the next. We are therefore inventing solutions to meet these needs and sharing them with other operators across the world.
The aim of R&D is to build a portfolio of innovative projects with high-growth-potential solutions focused on the customer's needs:
- By protecting our innovations through patents,
- By anticipating medium-term issues,
- By working on technological innovations and changes in usage in fields such as mobile payment, health and education,
- By developing our ecosystem through new partnerships and new offers (cloud computing, machine-to-machine, etc.).
The Orange Labs network
The Orange Labs network consists of a formidable global network of research and development teams (R&D), together with the Technocentre, which is tasked with marketing new products and services at the right time.
Now more multinational and multicultural than ever, the Orange Labs network is present on 4 continents. Immersed in different cultures and ecosystems, the Orange Labs are ideally placed to detect changes in local usage and catch innovative new technologies at source.
The strength of our R&D lies primarily in the expertise of our teams, who boast first-rate scientific and technological skills.
The Orange Labs network also relies on a multitude of value-adding associations and partnerships with local innovation players, in both research and development.
Faced with constantly changing markets and demand, Orange Labs are, thanks to their great adaptability, able to develop a new world of services to meet the needs of all of their customers (general public, business customers, local and regional authorities), in all situations (on the move, at home, in the office) and irrespective of the network, platform or device used.
In order to meet our customers’ current and future needs, our labs are working on subjects as diverse as transactional services using contactless technologies (Near Field Communication, 1D and 2D bar codes), new-generation infrastructures (fibre, LTE), machine-to-machine, cloud computing, e-health and the development of Orange services and applications for mobiles and tablets.
Some key figures on R&D
As of 31 October 2010, Orange held a portfolio of 7,795 patents in France and abroad (granted or registered), with 341 patent applications for new inventions filed over the past 12 months.
With nearly 3,500 researchers, developers, usability experts, designers and sociologists, the Group launches ever more innovative products and services each year.
Some of our biggest successes
Contactless mobiles are a new generation of mobile phones capable of interacting with their environment using NFC technology (Near Field Communication). Users can now make transactions by simply holding their mobile phone up to an electronic reader (to validate transport tickets, pay for concert tickets, buy goods in shops, etc.).
The Orange Money service is contributing to the development of financial services for mobile, particularly in Africa, where less than 10% of the population have a bank account, but nearly 50% have a mobile phone. Orange Money can be used to access a whole range of services: it makes tasks such as opening an account, transferring money to your family or paying your bills easy and accessible.
Optical fibre is opening up new horizons (bandwidth symmetry, interactive uses, broadcasting of HD content) while also considerably enhancing user comfort.