Orange to launch UK-based R&D facility

LONDON - Orange is to launch a UK-based research and development facility in the New Year to launch a new wave of broadband and mobile services.

Orange: new research and development facility set to begin operations in the UK next month
Orange: new research and development facility set to begin operations in the UK next month

Dubbed the Technocentre, the R&D facility will employ 80 engineers, researchers and marketing specialists in London and Bristol from 5 January to identify market changes and come up with new products.
These will include services designed specifically for both UK customers and Orange operations overseas.

An Orange spokesman said the company would look to develop services such as definition voice technology for UK customers in 2009.

3D-TV, life-sized video-calling screens, and IP telephony are among the products previously developed at Technocentres across 18 countries. But Orange said UK consumers would have to wait until the second half of 2009 to see the first results of the venture.

The centre will form part of Orange Labs, the global innovation network with more than 5,000 staff in 19 countries responsible for many of the 8,500 patents already registered with Orange and France Telecom.

The new division will work alongside Orange’s consumer, business and new business teams, while making use of the worldwide resources of Orange Labs R&D, which already operates in the UK.

The announcement comes after Orange delayed plans to provide IPTV to UK customers.

Parent company France Telecom currently operates IPTV services in markets including France, Spain and Portugal, but is believed to have experienced technical difficulties when piloting it in the UK.

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