Tuesday, August 01, 2006

JupiterResearch: My Orange World experience

Thomas Husson at JupiterResearch posts about his experiences trying "the French Orange mobile portal with a Nokia N70." Husson notes that:

Orange France used to have a walled-garden approach, promoting many services under its own brand and editorializing content as much as possible to deliver sort of an integrated user-experience. This is starting to change, not to the extent of 3 partnering with Yahoo and T-mobile with Google, but the company is beginning to adopt a more open approach. Off-portal content is enabled with Gallery, a unique multi-operator kiosk. Nothing really new here but Orange is probably more active than its competitors to promote it. That being said Orange continues to aggregate a lot of white-label content. I never understood the consumer value of Orange sport in comparison to L'Equipe (the main sport daily) with Orange.

A better example for this is the Canal+ video offer. The power of Vivendi's subsdiary brand is unleashed and the service is available through a dedicated WAP site, sort of portal within the portal. The service is compelling !
Husson writes that "Orange recently introduced new content packages for video and TV (10 euros/month to access 50 live TV channels and 9 euros/month to access Ligue 1 content (French football league by SMS/MMS alerts + video of goals)."

He concludes that "at the end of the day, my experience was pretty good, except that the video player did not always work smoothly and that I was not informed I had to wait while the content was being downloaded (why not try progressive downloading?). He writes:
To be honest, I had 2 different experiences : one with the N70 provided by Orange and another one with a N70 I had to configure myself. The second one was a nightmare. I paid for about 20 euros of content to finally not be able to access the content despite having spent hours with the customer care to have the right settings.
He states that this experience highlights two key facts:
  1. roughly 30% of mobile phones are not sold with an operator pack: the out-of-the-box experience is not adressed yet by mobile operators despite Orange efforts to provide a fixed-mobile hotline, adapted to a renewal market, where churn is an issue
  2. in the LLU ISP market, Free does not care about customer care since they are looking for market share at the lowest acquisition costs possible