Orange in Swedish U-Turn

Orange SA (London/Paris: OGE) has finally done the dirty deed and announced its withdrawal from the Swedish market, citing "the pressures placed upon it by the UMTS license requirements and current market conditions" (see Orange Quits Sweden). Is this the same Orange that only weeks ago denied it would abandon Sweden? (See Orange Squeezed in Sweden.) Yes, it is. Times are tougher at Orange just now, following parent France Telecom SA's (NYSE: FTE) capex cuts (see Orange Shackled by FT). Add that to the refusal of the Swedish regulator to alter the 3G license conditions (see No 3G Extension for Orange), and, well, c'est la vie. And it won't be much of a Christmas for the many staffers at Orange Sverige AB who will now lose their jobs. Expect further decisions like this, as cost-cutting makes more and more operators consider the financial viability of overseas operations. — Ray "God Bless Us Every One!" Le Maistre, European Editor, Unstrung
spc_rayella 12/4/2012 | 9:09:02 PM
re: Orange in Swedish U-Turn In the case of Sweden, because they had a 'beauty contest' rather than an auction, I think they are very keen to stick to the initial conditions, probably so as not to get sued by the firms that didn't get a license because they were deemed to be less able to meet those original conditions -- if you see what I mean!!

It would certainly help everyone (except perhaps the WCDMA account managers at the vendors) if across-the-board timescales were loosened. I am sure that, as with everything else in Europe, there will be no general agreement across the board, and that each country will do its own thing. The European Disunion... :-)

lrmobile_castro 12/4/2012 | 9:09:02 PM
re: Orange in Swedish U-Turn It seems prudent for the regulators to start changing the rules for UMTS and restructuring or eliminating some of those auction fees.

Europe won't benefit from hurting 3G.
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