Orange Armenia, the mobile operator that was acquired by local broadband internet provider UCOM following a deal signed with its former owner Orange Group in August 2015, is making plans for a rebranding to reflect its new ownership. Arka News Agency reports that a series of promotional videos have emerged on Armenian TV showing users that the cellco’s brand colour is changing from orange (Orange Armenia) to green (UCOM’s preferred brand colour). It is unclear at this stage, though, what the full implications of the rebranding are, given that the only text accompanying the adverts says that the ‘Time has Come’ – implying an imminent change of the brand.
UCOM completed the merger and reorganisation of Orange Armenia in January this year; no financial details of the deal were disclosed, although Orange is known to have spent upwards of USD350 million in the venture – including its mobile licence. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Orange Armenia launched on 5 November 2009 and today provides a range of 3G/3.5G voice and data services over a network which covers more than 97% of the Armenian population. The French giant said when announcing the sale last August that whilst Orange Armenia had performed well in terms of subscriber growth and profitability, it lacked ‘the necessary scale to carry out by itself the massive investments required to enable it to offer its customers convergent services’. The sale to UCOM, which was established in 2009 and has built up a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network with more than 75,000 residential customers, has effectively created a new converged player which is able to offer a range of fixed and mobile services.