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FT Launches FTTH Trial

PARIS -- Before the summer of 2006, France Telecom will be testing a Very High Speed offering in six districts in Paris and six cities in the Hauts-de-Seine. This experiment, based on an optical fiber service deployed into the customer's home, will cover thousands of households.

In the short term, the quality of France Telecom's copper network and its expertise on DSL technologies will make it possible to handle the ever-increasing uses of Broadband. However, over the next few years, speed requirements will continue to see strong growth. To get ready for the future and ensure that it is able to meet these needs as they arise, France Telecom has chosen to move directly over to the highest-performance technology: Fiber To The Home (FTTH).

France Telecom has built up expertise on this technology over the last few years in the laboratory. The aim of the pilot program launched today is to pave the way for the Group’s operational expertise on this technology. This large-scale experiment will validate the conditions for deployment, technical and commercial operations, and the related services.

FTTH will offer the best speed and capacity for simultaneous use of existing services while providing new services for customers. Examples of the services offered include high definition TV on one or more television sets (very high-quality images), interactive TV programs, the use of telephony over IP and videoconferencing under optimum conditions, instantaneous downloads and video viewing on PCs on one or more televisions, the ability to listen to high-quality music, improved photo album services, the development of video blogs, access to e-commerce sites under unparalleled speed and display conditions, secure data storage, and the development of new games. One of the major benefits of FTTH is that it enables simultaneous use of all of these services to meet the needs of the entire family.

The services to be offered in line with the pilot program include High Definition TV, unlimited telephony and Very High Speed Internet access. Customers participating in the pilot program will also be offered a wide range of innovative services to test. At the end of this first experimental phase, France Telecom will be able to ramp up its pilot programs to cover other regions in France or abroad by 2007.

Orange (NYSE: FTE)

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