CEO of Orange Jordan, Thierry Marigny, shared his insights on the Jordanian telecommunications market, noting that the sector fulfilled its customers' needs for mobility and high-speed internet. He added that the Kingdom was one of the first countries to introduce new technologies, consequently becoming a pioneer among regional telecommunications markets.
In an interview with Petra News Agency (Petra), Marigny stressed Orange Jordan's commitment to the local market as it continues to lead the digital transformation and bridge digital divides across local communities through its networks and compliance with the highest and latest quality and international labor standards.
Orange Jordan, according to Marigny, contributed to the popularity of the internet in the Kingdom, which presents a strong foundation for its ongoing efforts towards developing further into a digital multi-service operator.
The company showed significant growth both in its network and in investments to provide new services and exceed expectations. Marigny said that the network's quality and stability are the focus of Orange Group's overall strategy, an aspect that maintains our place as a leading network; we acquired additional frequencies to expand our 4G and 4G+ services. It is worth mentioning that Orange Jordan is the only 4G+ provider in the local market.
Expansion and enhancement of networks, Marigny indicated, required the increase of Orange Jordan's towers in different locations across the Kingdom, which in return proved great success in offering high-quality services at unprecedented speeds amid rising demand for internet services on mobile and fixed networks. During the last 12 months, we increased our 4G mobile data traffic by 50%, which means that our customers have the opportunity to use more than 50% more internet than last year.
Marigny said that Orange Jordan is the first operator to introduce Fiber services in the local market as they present the ultimate solution for households and businesses' internet needs, so we chose to work to offer optical fiber for everybody by heavily investing in both Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) and Fiber-to-the-Business (FTTB).
Marigny pointed out that FTTH services are not available in all countries due to the substantial investments they require. Orange Jordan realizes that Fiber can help accelerate the digitalization of the entire country, including remote areas. For this purpose, we developed our Fiber network in such a short time and we hope to cover more of the Kingdom's households by 2020.
Marigny said that since Orange Jordan launched Fiber, we aimed to exclusively provide this service to various regions, for the benefit of homes and businesses, maintaining unprecedented internet speeds up to 1,000 Mbps.
Orange Jordan increased its investment in the Fiber optic network, to ensure it is up-to-date, reach maximum coverage of the largest areas and provide exceptional internet speeds in the local market, Marigny explained, adding that Orange's network enhancement has resulted in our services reaching more than 400,000 households, making the largest share of fiber service in the market. He pointed out that the company continues to invest in its enhanced broadband copper network (ADSL) with high speeds, as well as unlimited downloads/ uploads capacities, to ensure optimal coverage all over the Kingdom.
Orange Jordan's future plans and projects include, as Marigny revealed, the launch of Orange Money services, which will facilitate secure electronic payment processes. The service allows users to deposit money into a digital wallet associated with their mobile number, then access a range of services, including deposits, withdrawal of money, purchase of mobile credit, transfer of domestic and international money, and payment of bills.
Marigny added that the company completed its Solar Farm project, resulting in a remarkable reduction in gas emissions and optimizing our overall operations. Orange Jordan started its solar energy production, with its partner Kawar Group, in three stations, the first located in Amman, the second in Khalidiya in Al-Mafraq, and the third in Al-Mafraq development area, and more than 75% of used energy by our company comes now from the solar farms.
In addition to Orange Jordan's major solar project, Marigny spoke about the Coding Academy inaugurated earlier this year, emphasizing that it is the first of its kind in the Middle East and reflects our interest in supporting youth by enabling them to gain awareness, develop their skills, and help them find job opportunities, all within the concept of "Training for Employment".
Each training cycle is designed to accommodate 50 students for 6 months, focusing on developing their personal and soft skills, motivating them to innovate by proposing project ideas.
On Orange Jordan's active role in supporting entrepreneurs and promoting creativity, Marigny said that Orange Group has deployed an international network of accelerators and now has 17 accelerators in 4 continents. Jordan is full of talent, and we serve the most deserving start-up teams to develop technically and commercially. Here, the name of our accelerator is BIG, and since the launch of the program, 37 start-ups have graduated over six seasons, and currently, five new start-ups have joined the seventh season of the program.
Our efforts to support entrepreneurs, he said, include 13 Orange Digital Centres across the Kingdom to promote the contribution of women and youth in the development of local communities, especially in remote areas.
The main challenges the telecommunications sector faces today, Marigny said that there are difficult economic equations; the operators are expected to heavily invest to finance communication networks that form main contributors to the national economy, amidst permanent bidding and a frantic race in Fiber, 4G, and cloud services. The prices of telecommunications services are falling sharply, while the taxes and frequency prices are some of the highest in the world. Our sector, which should be one of the most dynamic sectors helping boost the economy, is not as efficient as before.
Marigny added that we continue to increase our investments in all of our services, such as ADSL, Fiber and mobile networks while dealing with higher administrative costs, resulting in a challenge difficult to pursue in the long term.
Despite the high costs, we will invest in all our digital assets, namely My Orange application which is currently used by more than 300,000 of our customers. It is a secured application that keeps Orange subscribers in touch with all that matters to them whether they are products or services.