Orange Horizons confirms that it has launched the initial research and test stage of its planned WiFi service offering in South Africa. Orange has partnered with Cape Town-based African Eagle Tourism, to provide free WiFi services within their fleet of vehicles.
“Cape Town is one of Africa’s biggest tourist attractions, welcoming thousands of tourists every year,” states Sèbastien Crozier, Orange Horizons CEO.
“It is important for tourists to have access to Wi-Fi services, allowing them to get in touch with family and friends, take care of business matters, research tourist attractions or connect to other online services.”
“WiFi is underdeveloped and underutilized in South Africa, whereas Europeans have come to rely on the technology to satiate their appetites for data. For tourists visiting South Africa it is hard to understand why there is so little access to WiFi,” explains Crozier. “This lack of accessible wireless connectivity tarnishes the perception of the country from a tourism perspective,” says Crozier.
Crozier states that Orange wants to change the way that South African operators and customers look at WiFi and data, explaining that this could bode well for tourism in the country.
“In South Africa, there is a notion that data is overpriced, and consumers should avoid using too much; however, our understanding is that operators should support the growing use of data by providing relevant content as well as providing service packages aligned to the consumer’s specific requirements. While South Africa has started to develop tailored service plans based on user requirements, it lags behind the service packages in the USA, Europe and Far East, where operators provide a very extensive selection of data and voice packages to meet the exact requirements of the consumer. The selection in South Africa remains far too generic,” he says.
“African telecoms and IT services are in a constant state of development, and in many cases, are unhindered the constraints of legacy systems. In addition, the increased investment in Africa, and the growing tourism trends will translate into a higher demand for WiFi services to facilitate for a better tourist and business experience. Offering stable WiFi services is a step in the right direction for the country, and the country’s tourism capital is the best place to start,” states Crozier.
This move to extend Orange Horizon’s offer in South Africa follows the launch of a series of consumer related products in 2013 and Q1 of 2014. Orange Horizon’s activities in South Africa include the Orange content website, the Orange online store and Orange travel data, as well as voice and SIM-card products offered both through the Orange online store as well as through Orange corners within a selection on Nashua Mobile stores. Recently introduced to its offering is an online service that facilitates cross-boarder airtime and data purchasing, across multiple networks.
Concludes Crozier, “South Africa remains a very important market for Orange, and we see great potential for future growth and expansion. South African consumers have high expectations of telecommunications providers, and are demanding far more innovative and tailor-made product offerings. Following the completion of the initial WiFi test phase, we will develop our approach for a larger-scale market entry. We have heard their calls, and we are responding.”