Orange includes European roaming in high-end contracts

French operator group Orange has included roaming services in high-end tariffs for customers travelling across its entire European footprint. The operator has also launched an online portal to enable customers to remotely top up mobile credit for over 350 operators globally.

Orange’s inclusion of roaming services in high end tariffs is limited to what it considers customers originating from its key European markets: France, Spain, Poland, Belgium, Romania, Slovakia and Luxembourg. The operator said roaming services will be included on a range of tariffs starting from €30 per month.

The move comes as the European Commission pushes to ban incoming call charges for EU citizens. However, the EC told last week that restrictions on European roaming charges are now likely to be introduced in September or October, rather than July as originally planned. In its initial proposals to reform the EU telecoms market, the European Commission intended to ban incoming call charges for roaming citizens within the region by July 1st 2014.

Orange added that it will launch LTE roaming from February for customers in France travelling to the UK, Portugal and South Korea. It said that LTE roaming will be fully available across its European footprint by the end of 2014 as well as in certain markets outside of Europe.

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“Orange shares its customers’ conviction that using a mobile phone abroad should be worry-free,” said Stéphane Richard, CEO at Orange. “Today’s bold initiatives are designed to deliver on that promise, removing the need for many of our frequent roamers to even think about taking out a separate bundle.”

The operator has also launched Orange Top-Up, an online solution that enables people to remotely top-up mobile credit for customers of over 350 operators in the world.

Users can send mobile credit to a contact by entering the mobile number to be credited, select an amount and pay by credit card. An SMS is sent to the user to confirm the transaction and a personal message can be sent to the recipient to let them know their account has been topped-up.

The service is available online in English, French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, and in three currencies; Euros, US dollars and South-African rand. It is aimed at migrants who live far from their families or friends.

Last week, French rival Bouygues Telecom introduced a plan that offers subscribers  a domestic package that also includes unlimited voice and text and 3GB of data to and from all EU countries (plus several non-EU) and French overseas regions. The Sensation plan will be priced from €29.99 per month.

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