Orange plans to open a new Technocentre in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) in West Africa to support its growth plans in emerging countries, and in particular in sub-Saharan Africa.
The new facility is expected to develop and launch new products and services specifically designed to meet regional needs.
The new Technocentre will specialise in multimedia services for mobile networks including SMS, USSD (basic data services via a GSM network), WAP or Web-based services.
In addition, it will also work on offerings designed to facilitate access to the Internet for Africans everywhere by improving network accessibility and developing inclusive content-based services.
The new facility will also provide support for countries in the region as the roll-out of Orange Money accelerates over the coming months.
The company said Orange Money is the group’s mobile payment service and is a key part of the strategy to improve customer fidelity in Africa.
Orange Africa Middle East and Asia executive vice president in charge of operations Marc Rennard said by providing a regional platform, the new Technocentre would reinforce the Group’s capacity to develop new products and services specifically designed to meet the needs of sub-Saharan Africa.
"By drawing on local knowledge and expertise, the new Technocentre will enable us to develop innovative new offers in these areas that will create value both for our customers and the economy as a whole," Rennard said.
The Technocentre, which will open in Abidjan by the end of 2010, will join the group’s network of 15 Orange Labs worldwide and will reinforce the existing research and development facilities in Africa and the Middle East.