29 May 2018
CEO Pierre-Louis de Guillebon talks to Jason McGee-Abe about the industry’s new Code of Conduct and the evolution of Orange International Carriers
The CEO who has led
Orange’s international wholesale efforts since
April 2016 is incredibly passionate about many things but a
particular focus that we’ve discussed is security.
The wholesale telecoms industry is taking a stand to stop voice
fraud and the Global Leaders’ Forum (GLF) and
i3forum have rallied together to jointly develop a powerful
collective tool to bring the fight against this to the next
level. A level which de Guillebon also believes can be extended
to messaging as well.
"More and more carriers are signing up the code of conduct,
which is a public commitment to take action. Every player is
affected by fraud directly or indirectly and that is why this
activity is very important," says de Guillebon. The code of
conduct was first signed at our Capacity Middle East event and
has gained more and more support, as announced at ITW this year
and highlighted in the front cover story in this ITW Daily.
This key collaborative initiative should help to tackle
international telecommunications fraud, which costs our
industry an estimated $17 billion annually, according to the
Communication Fraud Control Association (CFCA), and a
significant part of this is voice fraud. "We are still doing a
lot in voice and continuing to innovate voice but so too are
fraudsters. We all need to stick to this code of conduct. I
hope the whole industry applies this to kill the fraud which
has led to losing billions of dollars in revenue."
"To prepare for this effectively we have to have solidarity
and work together and come up with a cooperative response to
security as we’re all fighting these criminals,"
adds de Guillebon, and that’s why the GLF and
i3forum Code of Conduct needs your support now!
Looking at Orange’s own business, the CEO says:
"We have a huge choice of new products coming out in voice,
mobile and data, many focussed on our security portfolio. The
number of attacks we face is developing quickly and
it’s true in voice, data and mobile alike. New
technologies are being developed to counter cyberattacks and I
expect security to be the key topic over the next few years or
A key focus for de Guillebon is to better handle security,
not just reacting to attacks but to be more proactive and
expanding Orange IC’s network and delivery of
content closer to its customers. "We will continue to develop
switching from a transit network to a content delivery network
(CDN) and deploying a network of CDNs, pushing content closer
to our customers, aiding them with the explosion of traffic and
their latency battles, typically stemming from video and
gaming. 80-90% of content is video and future innovation will
lead to 4K and 8K video and millions of virtual reality
headsets will add more traffic and pressure to enhance
"Security is very apparent, as we try to protect our
customers, employees, equipment and solutions," he adds.
"We’re fighting a massive increase of attacks from
everywhere and everybody suffers from them." It’s
a challenge which is only going to get bigger, he warns, with
blockchain, AI, IoT, mobile payments, and connected cars.
So what’s next for the industry I ask de
Guillebon? SDN will certainly digitalise the way to sell and
manage the network and NFV will change the way to design
"But another key topic is blockchain," he adds. "I was
amazed about this topic after talking about this with the
Global Leaders’ Forum (GLF). The technology is for
the retail industry but the recent PCCW Global and Colt
Technology Services’ Proof of Concept has
intrigued de Guillebon. "They have been showing a different
concept for the wholesale industry for voice, the basics of our
business, applied to voice management of contracts."
Another area is always to 5G and IoT. "5G is coming soon and
sooner than expected," he says. "Many countries are launching
services in 2019 not 2020. On the wholesale side we have to be
prepared and ready as it’s coming quickly. Behind
5G you have all the connected objects. There will be billions
of objects in a few years’ time and
what’s critical for the wholesale industry is the
roaming of the subjects and we have to be prepared to
facilitate for that."
Speaking on the 5G panel at ITW this year, de Guillebon
said: "5G is not just 4G plus one. It will be a place to
develop new applications, such as in health care. There will be
more companies developing new things."
Orange wholesale and International networks
On 2 May, Orange International Carriers became part of the
newly-formed Wholesale and International Networks division. The
Orange Group has restructured its multi-services operator
strategy and you would have read on Page 7 of the ITW Show
Daily on Monday details about this structure and information
about Jérôme Barré, recently appointed as
CEO of this new division.
"The creation of the new division for wholesale is great as
we were previously spread around different divisions of Orange.
The new division groups all wholesale together under the
responsibility of Jérôme, who I know very well.
This activity will be composed of four complementary parts:
First is Orange Wholesale France, which is the important
domestic division in France, selling termination access in
France for our competitors and MVNOs.
"The second is International Carriers, my remit, all the
wholesale business done with all the other wholesale operators
in the world out of France and also in France for international
traffic where we also sell traffic to our competitors
domestically. The third part is Orange International Network
Infrastructure Services, the factory or network part.
The fourth involves the roaming activity and all the roaming
agreements will be part of this. The European
Union’s end of mobile roaming charges has been a
huge success for consumers but has certainly put a lot of
pressure from a traffic volume point of view. Orange has seen
the roaming of data multiplied by eight on average in 2017
compared to 2016. Voice traffic has been increasing by around
50%. Just by the fact that roaming rates has been
"Compared to 2016 the data traffic in Europe due to roaming
into different countries has been multiplied by eight. All of
this traffic has been hosted on IPX networks so we have had to
upgrade the network to address this huge surge."
I ask him what the potential is for roaming agreements to be
firmly established in different regions around the world.
"Perhaps we will see this in 5-10 years’ time. It
will vary vastly depending on regions, Europe agreeing with
North America for example. I’m convinced it will
happen because for the end-user it is so convenient. It
won’t happen quickly."
Orange IC has continued the strong development of revenues
and margins of its voice business and "we’re very
proud of this achievement," he says. "We have successfully
continued to develop the revenues and margins of our voice
business and we’re very proud of this achievement.
We’re one of the top three players by revenue. We
have been switching our voice service to voice-over-IP (VoIP),
deploying new VoIP systems, and today we are half way there,
already transforming 50% from traditional voice to VoIP."
"We’re constantly faced with innovation and
preparing for the next big thing, such as voice-over-LTE
(VoLTE). IP traffic increases two-fold every year and as
I’ve highlighted we face huge security issues. The
threat is in front of us and hackers are ready to attack," he
warns. "Payments on internet terminals is another challenge. As
the internet of things (IoT) explodes we’ll have
billions of connected objects and our challenge is preparing
for all these new types of innovation that will come to the
market very quickly. Our Tier-1 open international transit IP
network is starting to directly connect with content providers
and improving the quality of traffic for our retail operations
in a number of countries."
There are many challenges though, but for de Guillebon a key
one is keeping pace with change and adapting to innovation. The
change with Orange’s structure will still see de
Guillebon leading from the front and continue to manage
international connectivity and transmission services for
wholesale voice, mobile, internet and security services within
the division. With the new Orange structure, "retail activity,
B2B and now wholesale are all one entity. We’ll
start to work together to see if we have to change the
organisation, work on new business or do something different
but time will tell as we develop this great single entity."