Orange is sponsoring the Africa Cup of Nations 2013 pan-African football tournament in South Africa

Global operator group Orange has launched a subsidiary that aims to increase its brand awareness in countries where it is not already present as a mass-market telecommunications provider.

The firm is looking to lay foundations before it launches business ventures in several other countries in 2013 in Europe and Africa, including setting up new MVNOs.

The operator said the subsidiary, called Orange Horizons, would also provide a new source of revenue for the group and improve customer loyalty across its footprint without the firm making any significant investments.

The first of Orange Horizon’s projects has already been launched in South Africa, which comprises two websites: an e-commerce website to sell telecoms-related devices and accessories, and a country website, which provides online content specifically tailored for a South African audience including news feeds, sports news and audiovisual content.

The launch of these services coincides with the start of the Africa Cup of Nations 2013 pan-African football tournament in South Africa, which Orange is sponsoring. Six countries in which Orange is already present will be playing in the tournament.

At a roundtable in London last week, the firm identified Algeria as one market that it is keen to grow its presence in, hailing it as a large, important market that is developing at a rapid pace. It also identified opportunities in Libya and Ethiopia. The latter has a state-owned monopoly operator Ethio Telecom, which Orange is already providing services to, and it is keen to exploit any opportunities if and when the country opens the market up to new entrants.

Orange has been busy exploring new opportunities in emerging markets of late, and recently signed an exclusive partnership with China’s premier search provider Baidu to bring a mobile web browser to customers in the Middle East and Africa. Orange Business Services, the firms enterprise services arm, also announced the launch of an enterprise-focused joint venture in Qatar.

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