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Orange’s network investments help ward off low-cost rivals in France

29
Jul
2014

By Leila Abboud and Gwénaëlle Barzic PARIS (Reuters) – Telecoms operator Oranges investment in faster fiber and mobile broadband networks in its French home market has started to pay off, as its high-end focus insulates it from cut- price fixed plans offered by rival Bouygues. As Frances largest carrier reported second-quarter results in line with forecasts on Tuesday, it said that some 60 percent of new mobile customers were signing up for high-end plans that include 4G and that 50,000 new customers had signed up to its fiber broadband offers, taking the total to 415,000. Orange shares are up about 30 percent so far this year, the biggest gainers among Europes large-cap telecom firms, as investors bet on its recovery from a French price war touched off by low-cost player Iliads entry to the mobile market in 2012 as well as possible consolidation. Bouygues took the price battle to the fixed broadband market this March with a TV, Internet and fixed-line phone bundle at 19.99 euros ($26.9) a month, a move that analysts said risked hurting Orange since it has the largest fixed client base.

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