With rumors of Orange Uganda closing shop, many were concerned about what the implications of Orange leaving the market could be. The recent acquisition of Warid Telecom by Airtel showed us how tricky it is to manage the merging process and how each of the Telecoms have their own cult-following based on what they offer. Since 2009 when Orange Uganda opened for business, they cut out a niche for themselves as reliable Internet providers. Many began to enjoy the service that Orange provided in comparison to the competition.
We have no evidence on whether Orange is actually exiting or not but our sources confirm that there are a couple investors injecting money into the company which will shake up a couple of things.
Some hate it some love it, but here are the 5 things I love and would miss if Orange closed shop
1. Good Customer Care
From the beginning, Orange set itself apart through its customer care. At a time when getting to MTN customer care was harder than switching to another network, having good customer care was a breath of fresh air. They would pick customer calls instantly, call you back to follow up till your issue is resolved and even when an issue is never resolved, the fact that they listened was enough. Even though the offline customer care is still great, Orange is horrible at Customer care online and that is where both Airtel and MTN beat it at. They have a twitter handle that needs to be closed so that we know once and for all that they don’t have one.
2. Fast and Affordable Internet
MTN had internet before Orange came to the market and they still do but one issue they had was unreliable irregular slow speeds. When Orange came, their internet was a little bit more expensive but you would be sure to do what you needed to do. It’s from this that they cut out their own niche as an ISP of choice. If Orange closed shop, I would have huge issues since most of our business runs on the internet
3. Super Combo
Airtime is funnily a very Ugandan (Dare I say African) thing, In other markets particularly southern Africa and the West Africa, rather than airtime, people buy Call bundles. For Instance one bought 150 Voice minutes, 500 SMS, 1GB of data at a given fee. This is not the kind of thing that was popular here even though there was a need for the service in the uptown clients. Orange introduced its “Super Combo” selling different bundles with Voice, Data and SMS. The most effective for me was the 1000 shillings a day package that gave me 20SMS 20MB of data, 2 Minutes to other networks and 30 minutes to Orange. This all in one worked for me like a charm and I am sure works for many too. This is one of those I would have a hard time living without if Orange closed shop.
Up until now, I am not sure exactly what “Tokota” is. Its probably one of Orange’s most successful campaigns/promotions. Not offering anything very different, Tokota gave you a couple of Orange to Orange minutes a day for a fee. Such promos are popular with alot of people who need to talk everyday, Businesses that communicate with each other often, Friends who need to keep up with all that’s going on affordably. Tokota for me was Orange saying that they can also be aggressive and they actually pulled it off. I would definitely miss Tokota if Orange closed shop.
5. Orange Expo
For a Mobile and Technology enthusiast, the Orange Expo is that event that makes me feel that Uganda is also alive in Technology. It’s Uganda’s CES (The annual Consumer Electronics Show of the US) or the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona where we get to experience a couple of Mobile Tech products and also get good discounts on devices not to mention the networking and entertainment. The Expo has been going on for a couple of years and getting better each year. Its hard to imagine that we might wake up one day and there’s no Expo. I would definitely miss this one.
I hope Orange doesn’t quit because I would miss all the above. Did I miss anything? What would you miss if Orange closed? share with us in the comments.