Orange UK is a mobile network operator and internet service provider in the United Kingdom which is owned by France Télécom. It was founded in 1994 by Hutchison Telecom which was later bought by Mannesmann AG and then in May 2000 sold to its present owners. Orange UK has over 17 million customers through its mobile and broadband services
Orange UK currently offers two mobile phone packages; pay as you go and pay monthly service plans.
As with other prepaid plans, pay as you go mobile users are given the option to top-up their phone via a swipe card, over the internet or via a credit or debit card.
The pay monthly service gives customers an option of 12, 18 or 24 month contracts. The contracts come ‘bundled’ with minutes, text messages and within some contracts data and insurance services, additional charges can be incurred for Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS) and Mobile Data services. Orange like other providers also offer SIM Only plans which require only a 30 day contract.
Orange UK operates a GPRS, EDGE and 3G service and is in the process of rolling out a HSDPA network. Orange’s 2G network covers 99% of the UK population and has the largest integrated 3G/2.5G network in the UK, Orange claims it spends up to £1.5 million per day investing in its network.
In addition to this Orange UK provides DSL services, under the same brand. Originally operated as Freeserve in the UK it was bought-out by France Telecom, rebranded as Wanadoo and on 1st June 2006 Wanadoo was rebranded Orange. When Orange launched its DSL broadband service it offered it for ‘free’, joining TalkTalk in the foray for market share. The company has attempted to converge its mobile and DSL broadband products and like its competitors offers DSL broadband services alongside its mobile services, at a subsidized rate (Free broadband with sppeds of up to 8mb with 10gb usage allowance for free if you take a mobile package with an 18 month contract, or "unlimited" with speeds of up to 8mb when you take a mobile contract at 18months or more). Orange now offers ‘triple-play’ services converging mobile, landline and DSL broadband. Orange UK on its highest broadband service offers a Livebox which integrates VoIP technology as well as wi-fi. It has been rumored that Orange intends to launch a video on demand service through its DSL broadband service.