Shareholders of France Telecom have voted in favor of changing the operator’s name to Orange, the brand it already uses across its commercial operations.
The name change is to come into effect on July 1 and is described by the company as a “natural step in the process towards the simplification and unity of the Group’s activities”.
The former state-owned monopoly says it has been working on simplifying its visual identity in France and other markets since 2006, with fixed, mobile, internet and TV services all now offered under the Orange brand.
The company has been officially known as France Telecom (Paris, France) ever since the initial stages of telecoms market liberalization in the early 1990s.
It acquired the Orange brand over the same period when it bought a UK operator by that name, but has subsequently introduced the brand across all of its domestic and international operations.
Along with SFR (Paris, France) and Bouygues Telecom (Paris, France), the operator has been hurt by the entry of broadband upstart Iliad (Paris, France) into France’s mobile-phone market, and may hope it can shake off its reputation as a slow-moving incumbent offering a pricier service by phasing out the France Telecom name.
Using the Free brand, Iliad has launched a price war that has forced its older rivals to overhaul their own tariffs simply to retain market share.