AT&T vs. France Telecom SA– yeah it’s not the VOLS vs. the Gators but it is an interesting comparison.


Earlier this year AT&T said that they would re-brand Cingular to AT&T Wireless (confused? Check my blog archive) and now a similar thing is happening in Europe where France Telecom, a former state owned monopoly like AT&T, is re-branding itself AS its wireless carrier ORANGE.


France Telecom or ORANGE is going to provide all of its services such as wireless, video, Internet, and fixed-line into its wireless name in hopes of competing better across Europe (they are in various western European countries) as opposed to AT&T, who is going to provide a lot of the same services except in English, to its fixed-line business name.


A lot of people thought that AT&T should re-brand itself under the Cingular name instead of “turning back the clock” and use Ma Bell’s original name.


I think the ORANGE re-branding will work better and for one simple reason, it looks forward. Reverting Cingular back to AT&T wireless again won’t change anything in, fact it could very well hurt the company. On the other hand re-branding France Telecom under the faster growing ORANGE name shows that France Telecom’s brass is thinking forward and learning from the past NOT embracing it.


Check back in a few years; yes AT&T will probably be richer because well, more people live in North America but I bet ORANGE will be more successful as well as more profitable.


As my Grandfather once said, “keep your eye on the future because you’ll be spending a lot of time there.”


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