Orange enters mobile telephone market

Orange Communications has become the third company to enter Switzerland's mobile telephone market. The Lausanne-based company said its nationwide network will cover about 90 percent of the population at the start of operation today Tuesday.

This content was published on June 28, 1999 - 08:34

Orange Communications has become the third company to enter Switzerland's mobile telephone market. The Lausanne-based company said its nationwide network will cover about 90 percent of the population at the start of operation today Tuesday.

To achieve this coverage, Orange will initially share parts of the network with the market leader Swisscom.

Reports say the cooperation between the two companies has led to tensions within the telecommunications sector. Competitor diAx, which entered the market last December, has no such deal with Swisscom and is expanding its own network.

Orange's network alone currently only covers 50 percent of the population. The company says it intends to improve its networks to achieve 75 percent coverage by the end of the year, and reach 95 percent of the population by 2001.

Orange Communications is a consortium comprised of the British Orange group, VIAG of Germany, Swissphone and the Cantonal Bank of Vaud. It was granted a licence to enter the Swiss mobile phone market in May 1998.

It currently employs about 500 people but says it will increase its workforce to 750 by the end of the year. Orange has pledged to invest SFr1.2 billion ($780 million) by the end of 2001.


Sources:Orange Communications, sda-ats, APD

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