Orange Business Services has launched "Daily Voix" (Daily Voice), a new roaming option for its customers traveling through Europe, the U.S. and Canada. For a flat rate of 10 euros plus VAT (Value Added Tax), users get a 24 hour period to make or receive unlimited calls. Who will be next?
Daily Voix is designed for occasional travelers, and is an option for all Orange Business Services mobile packages only billed when actually used; otherwise it is free and there is no time commitment involved. The flat-rate "clock" starts whenever a call is made, terminating at 11:59 PM local time. At midnight local time, the clock is reset for a new "day" of flat rate calls.
In addition, Orange announced two new roaming options for data services. A "Daily Data" option for smart phone users costs 5 euros plus VAT for 100 Mb per day. Tablet and PC users can pay 10 euros plus VAT to get 200 Mb per day. Usage beyond the data allocation is billed at 0.45 euros/MB plus tax in Europe, the U.S. and Canada and 5 euros/MB for the rest of the world
Orange says the new rates are to encourage the use of roaming services both by individual customers through its Go Europe plans and now by businesses through the new Daily options.
I suspect there's more than a little motivation included within Orange's new plans by T-Mobile US flat-rate per minute international calling pricing. Business customers are going to be challenged to sift through these and (I'm sure) new international pricing plans to be rolled out by other carriers in the months to come.
It will be interesting to see how Orange might take the next step in keeping customers "on network" by leveraging its Libon over-the-top (OTT) client in combination with more aggressive (i.e., lower) calling rates. Rolled out last year and available on Apple iOS and Android devices, Libon provides visual voice mail, customized voice mail greetings for groups of contacts, and "free" calling and texting to other Libon users over an IP connection. Libon is offering one hour per month of free international calling to 37 countries for six months if you sign up by December 31 as a stand-alone offer.
Imagine a business-branded Libon client that would "square the circle" to provide free text messaging, an initial amount of free voice calling, and discounted international calling once the monthly limit was exceeded. Orange would have incentives to bring business customers onto Libon because more calls would go over its network, rather than that voice traffic going to Skype and the plethora of OTT clients. The carrier would most likely make less per call than it would on the (rapidly shrinking) "list" price per minute, but it would not be the zero euro amount made when the call travels across an OTT service.
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