Orange: “We need new partnerships”

France Telecom-Orange needs new partnerships in the IT sector if it is to prosper in the brave new world of cloud computing and services, according to Thierry Bonhomme, senior executive vice president for networks & carriers and research & development at the French telco.

Speaking during Thursday morning’s conference keynote sessions at Day 3 of the Broadband World Forum in Paris, Bonhomme said that cloud computing will be one of France Telecom’s key growth generators over the next five years, and added that the ability to bring in new skills from the world of IT is going to be key to this growth.

With major data centres in seven countries across the planet (including Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Germany and France), the telecoms giant is having to make some hugely important decisions when building its new infrastructure for meeting internal and external requirements in the 20 countries in which it operates, according to Bonhomme, and new alliances are key to this process.

The French exec also revealed that the company has 150 R&D staff working on cloud computing services alone (although in light of the 20,000 total R&D staff Intel has on its roster, this somewhat pales in comparison).

For the future, Bonhomme highlighted firstly the move to IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMS) as a way of achieving differentiation—making the firm’s network service-aware, client-aware, device-aware and contract-aware—and he also highlighted a recent breakthrough for dealing with the rapid scaling of mobile network traffic, whereby the radio layer can be separated from the control plane.


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