France Telecom announced on Wednesday that it is changing the name of its multinational service provider Equant to the more prosaic-sounding Orange Business Services.
While the change is primarily a marketing move - as was the original move to Equant - Mack Treece, head of Orange Business Services in the Americas, says there are benefits for multinational customers in the US.
Orange Business Services is now reselling Cingular Wireless services in the US to its multinational data customers. Outside the US, Orange Business Services sales representatives will also be the single point of contact for all Orange wireless services and France Telecom data and voice offerings.
France Telecom acquired a majority interest in Orange, a wireless service provider giant in Europe, in 2000. In 2003 it picked up Orange's remaining shares.
Last year France Telecom took full ownership of Equant, buying the company's outstanding shares. It was already the majority shareholder.
Orange is a well-known brand outside the US, but it's far from a household name there.
Treece says he was not worried about that. Legally, in contracts, the company would still use the Equant name, but it will be known as Orange Business Services outside of the company.