Orange Communications SA

Orange launches the "Automatic Rate" - New on the Swiss mobile communications market

    Lausanne (ots) - As of 16 September 2004 Orange will be offering Optima, the automatic price plan. Optima is a dynamic rate system. No matter how much or how little a customer uses his or her mobile phone, Optima automatically charges only the cheapest rate for the customer each month. The customer doesn't need to do anything. Each month he or she sees on the bill how much can be saved compared with a fixed price plan. Orange is the first and only mobile communications operator to offer an "Automatic Rate" in Switzerland.

    There's considerable variation in how mobile phone owners use their phones from month to month. Yet mobile phone subscriptions have a fixed structure (fees, included talk time minutes, rates). This means that over a period of several months, most mobile phone owners pay too much. The only remedy for this until now would have been to constantly change subscriptions.

    "At the end of October 2003 Orange had already promised customers that in the future it would make their lives easier with more convenient and useful offers. For customers there are, for example, more important things in life than comparing mobile communications subscriptions and rates. So there was an obvious need for an automatic price plan", according to Timm Degenhardt, Orange's Head of Marketing, who sums up the background and concludes: "And that's the right way to go. Ultimately Orange customers should be able to rely on the fact that they can make calls on their mobile phones at fair and easy-to-understand prices. So with the automatic Optima price plan, Orange charges in the customer's favour each month. The customer automatically phones at the best rate level. Each month, the amount he or she is saving can be seen from the bill".

    In a study carried out over the summer by the comparative service provider Comparis, Orange has been proved right. The results of the survey show that 90% of all mobile phone owners use an inadequate mobile communications subscription and therefore are over-charged by more than 1.2 billion francs . "Even if customers were to change to a cheaper subscription with their current provider, they could save around 500 million francs per year", affirms Comparis in its press release on 16 June 2004.

    Moreover, the "Kassensturz" programme on this topic on 15 June 2004 showed that mobile phone users are either unaware of the potential savings to be made by choosing the right subscription or pay more attention to the mobile phone itself than to the contract. A beautiful mobile phone may then be linked to an expensive contract, which may be virtually impossible to get out of, concludes Comparis in this edition of "Kassensturz".

    The Optima price plan

    The Optima price plan is divided into six levels with varying monthly fees, included talk time minutes and rates. Each month, Optima automatically checks whether each customer is really phoning at the cheapest rate level for him or her, based on his or her actual call volume. If this is not the case, then Optima automatically charges the cheapest rate.

Rate level with
included talk         Optima  Optima  Optima  Optima  Optima  Optima
time minutes              30         100        200        400        600      1200
(all CH networks)

Monthly fee CHF         31.-        46.-      86.-    141.-    191.-    361.-

Additional talk
time minutes
(all CH networks)    0.50        0.48      0.45      0.40      0.35      0.30

    Optima automatically charges the best rate according to the varying call volume each month. The difference from the rate level originally chosen is listed on the monthly bill as the amount saved.

    As with the existing price plans, customers can also benefit from mobile phones at reduced prices with Optima. Anyone wishing to benefit from Optima from the very first month should choose the Optima 30 rate level, with a mobile phone at attractive price. Mobile phones at very low prices are offered with the Optima 100 and Optima 400 levels. In this case, optimisation is possible during the first six months with the higher rate levels only.

    Only four price plans left - the classics are being kept

    The basic price plans, Economy, Personal and Advanced, will be kept as long as they continue to meet customers' needs.  Existing customers for these price plans will be informed about the Optima offer in writing by Orange.

    The Personal 30, Personal 100 und Exclusive 300 price plans will no longer be offered in the future.

    The options (e.g. SMS option) can be combined with the Optima price plan. It is also planned to integrate the options into the automatic system of the Optima price plan.

    You can find more information about Orange and its service offers on the Internet:

ots Originaltext: Orange Communications SA

Orange Communications SA
World Trade Center
Av. de Gratta-Paille 2
P.O. Box 455
CH-1000 Lausanne 30 Grey

Therese Wenger
Director Media & PR
Mobile:    +41/78/787'10'16
Tel.         +41/21/216'10'16
Fax          +41/21/216'10'15

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