Orange to launch fibre and tower Co's in 2020

Orange Europe to launch fibre and tower Co's in 2020

23 January 2020 | Natalie Bannerman

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Orange has announced its plans to establish fibre and tower Co’s in Europe as part of the group’s wider Engage 2025 strategy.

Speaking during the company’s Orange in Europe event day in London, Ramon Fernandez (pictured), delegate chief executive officer of finance, performance and Europe at Orange, said “In 2020 we will start the process of setting up dedicated tower companies in France and Spain and will we further examine the potential to extend this to other countries. As far as fibre is concerned, we will also look at setting up fibre Co’s (fibre companies) is Spain and in Poland.”

According to Fernandez, as part of Orange’s growth and convergence strategy, it will rely on massive deployments of broadband through fibre and 5G.

By 2023 he says that Orange will be able to market its fibre offers to more than 70 million households in Europe, be that alone or leveraging third party networks. In countries where Orange is not incumbent it will diversify access to fixed infrastructure through a number of wholesale agreements or through regulated access.

“Orange has been one of the first operators to share mobile networks in Europe through RAN sharing agreements with competitors,” he said. “Last year we announced an extension of our RAN sharing with Vodafone in Spain and a new agreement in Belgium with Proximus and other announcements could follow. These new RAN sharing agreements will improve customer experience and will generate significant savings in opex and capex that we estimate to being around €10 billion over a ten-year period.”

To support this, and of in preparation for further 5G rollout, Fernandez says: “our first challenge in 2020 will be to acquire the required and scarce spectrum.”

Though hoping for as much organic growth as possible Fernandez says M&A is also on the cards, continuing on some strategic acquisitions made by Orange Romania in 2019.

In the end, Fernandez has one overall objective for Orange Europe, "improve digital literacy for all and reduce the effects of climate change."