Orange to offer cheap calls to boost custom

Mobile phone operator Orange is to introduce cheaper rates for customers who make mobile phone calls from or near their homes.

The new location-based service aims to encourage callers to use their mobile instead of the fixed phone line in their home. It is expected to be a cornerstone of Orange’s forthcoming TV advertising campaign, which breaks on April 28.

The company is also understood to be considering new city tariffs to offer cheaper rates for urban calls in the major cities outside London in an attempt to redress the regional imbalance of mobile use. Twenty per cent of Londoners have mobiles, compared with ten per cent outside the capital.

One analyst comments: “Regional pricing through city tariffs is its (Orange’s) new thing – it will redress the regional imbalance. Expect reductions of up to ten per cent.”

However, he adds: “Orange was cheaper than Vodafone when it launched, but is not now, and its first quarter connections were lower than it had hoped.”

The location-based service will give Orange a point of difference in what is often seen as a confusing market. Urban-based tariffs are not a new idea, but previous attempts faltered due to technological failures.

Orange admits it is looking at location-specific charges as part of other innovations.

The initiatives are expected to be showcased in a new Orange advertising campaign through WCRS – shot by movie director Ridley Scott (MW April 2).

The campaign will play on the date’s significance as Orange’s fourth birthday.

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