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FT Plans Egypt R&D

Didier Lombard, Chairman and CEO of France Telecom, was in Cairo from April 1 to 3 to enhance the Group's involvement in Egypt

April 3, 2007

2 Min Read

CAIRO, Egypt -- Didier Lombard, Chairman and CEO of France Telecom, was in Cairo from April 1 to 3 to enhance the Group's involvement in Egypt, where it has been present for more than 50 years. He took the opportunity to meet the local authorities and government members. The four major announcements of this trip were:

• A comittment to open in the near future a Research and Developement center, part of the international network of the 15 Orange Labs around the world. This center will closely interact with the group's teams based in Cairo, both in the entreprise market (Orange Business Services) and in the mobile consumer market through MobiNil, of which France Telecom is the main shareholder. The Cairo Orange Labs will in particular be focused on preparing convergence for the coming years in the region, in relationship with universities and authorities in charge of ICT development.

• An announcement of plans to hire 400 people by the Orange Business Services center in Cairo. By December 2007, the headcount will rise to 1,500 people. This decision illustrates the confidence of France Telecom/Orange in the skills of the Egyptian workforce. The Orange Business Services center in Cairo, which opened in July 2004, is one of Orange's three global centers (Cairo, Delhi and Rio). This center is the largest one and is supporting Orange Business Services' multinational customers, including a large portion of Fortune 500 companies. In Egypt alone, Orange Business Services is serving approximately 150 local and foreign multinational companies, as well as around 50 airlines. These customers include Egyptian companies, such as EFG Hermes (the Arab world's premier investment bank), ENPPI (a leading Egyptian engineering company), Egypt Air, as well as foreign companies based in Egypt, such as Akzo Nobel (international company active in the areas of pharmaceuticals, coatings and chemicals and various airlines.

• A celebration of the 10 millionth subscriber to MobiNil, the 71% subsidiary of France Telecom/Orange, who will receive a special award: a first class journey to Paris for two people. This new commercial threshold demonstrates the leading position of MobiNil in the telecom sector in Egypt. The number of subscribers to MobiNil, which today covers more than 99% of the Egyptian population, has increased by more than 38% in 2006.

• The signing of a partnership between the Orange Foundation and the Samusocial International, which already supports the NCCM Foundation (National Council for Childhood and Motherhood). The 20-year-old Orange Foundation will support the implementation of a program destined to help young children on the streets of Cairo. The funding from the Orange Foundation will be dedicated to help the local implementation of the Samusocial International team as well as training of the field operators. The program will be implemented within the next 12 to 18 months.

Orange (NYSE: FTE)

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