Programs marking the official rebranding was held across Liberia last week and was culminated by the VIP dinner held at the Paynesville City Hall on Thursday, May 18th. Orange, one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators, acquired Cellcom over a year ago as part of the Orange groups strategy to reinforce its presence in West Africa.
With the completion of the rebranding, Orange Liberia joins one of the world’s most powerful brands and stands to benefit from being part of a large international group. Orange is expected to provide its marketing expertise and world-class technical capability to further strengthen the operator’s established network and enhance customer service in Liberia.
Coulibaly underscored that Orange had already started and would continue to make unprecedented investments in revolutionizing the Liberian telecommunications industry. He stated “we will innovate the market with top-of-the-line telecommunications and value added services for prices that will be affordable by all. We will invest heavily in infrastructure rollout to increase network penetration and improve on quality of service across the country. As we expand, so will create employment opportunities for Liberians.”
Coulibaly highlighted that as a demonstration of its commitment to Liberia, the Orange had already made significant strides to improve its infrastructure. He revealed that Orange had built 45 new towers in 2016 and the company was on track to complete an additional 65 sites in 2017, thus significantly increasing its coverage and quality. “Liberia currently only has a 70% mobile penetration rate and our goal is to ensure that we expand in a way that insures that a larger majority of Liberians have access to telecommunications and data services.”
In addition to expanding its coverage, Coulibaly outlines that Orange would strongly enhance internet and mobile money quality and services. With the arrival of Orange, Liberia’s will benefit from access to the Orange Groups submarine and international cable networks. Orange Liberia will benefit from two additional secure connection points in Abidjan and Paris that will multiply network capacity by four. Orange money has also been upgraded and will begin to offer a series of new features, which Coulibally said will be rolled out in the coming days and weeks.
For his part, the Deputy CEO of Orange for Africa and the Middle East, Mr. Bruno Mettling reaffirmed Coulibaly’s statement that Orange plans to invest significantly in Liberia. “The fact that we are investing so much in infrastructure and in people is by itself strong evidence that Orange is in Liberia to stay. That is why a long-term partnership with the Liberian authorities is important. We believe when the government provides an enabling environment, we as a company are able to do more,” Said Mr. Mettling.
However, he also stressed that continue to heavily invest, it was imperative that the Liberian tax system is stabilized. He commended the Liberian legislators for not passing the law that would have added a 1 cent tariff per minute to all calls and termed it “a step in the right direction.” He elaborated: “I am particularly happy and must commend the Liberian government for cancelling the law that would have added 1 cent per minute tax to communications. We believe that this is a good and a welcomed decision that is in the interest of the Liberian people. It will allow us to continue to be able to provide the 3 days free calls program, which I hear is very popular in Liberia.”
Orange Liberia now joins 21 other countries in Africa and the Middle East, where it has more than 120 million customers. In addition to expansion of networks, the company will also prioritize Orange Money, its flagship offer for money transfers and mobile financial services. The Group’s strategy in Africa and the Middle East is to position itself as a leader of the digital transformation and to bring its international expertise to support the development of new digital services.