Orange is deciding whether to cull, keep or grow its Animals contracts as the network gets ready to refresh its tariffs in March 2008, Mobile understands.
Distributors received a memo from Orange, telling them that new tariffs would be in place from 1 March and to be prepared for a change; however, further details were not given.
The Orange Animals plans – Canary, Dolphin, Racoon and Panther – which launched amid disbelief two years ago as a response to T-Mobile’s Flext, have survived much longer than many in the industry had anticipated.
Some sources suggest that Orange will get rid of the Animals, reporting that many customers find the proposition confusing.
An Orange spokesman said that nothing has been confirmed, but he added that the network refreshes its tariffs annually.
‘Nothing has been finalised or communicated yet… We tend to do a tariff refresh every year, so something will probably happen at some stage,’ he said.
The prospect of Orange bringing out a new Animal tariff has prompted speculation over its identity, with ‘Monkey’ being the hot favourite.
Meanwhile, Orange’s Unlimited offer has been secured to remain in place until 28 February 2008. The network is yet to decide whether or not it will keep the offer after this date.
Orange’s last-ditch PSP giveaway
Orange gave away hundreds of free or heavily discounted Sony PSP games consoles with certain contracts last weekend and looks set to repeat the offer this week in a bid to boost sales during the Christmas rush.
The network is believed to be way below its annual target, and is looking increasingly desperate to reach its required subscriber numbers. It will be the last set of results for outgoing UK chief Bernard Ghillebaert.
Customers could buy a console for £29.99 when signing up to a £30 tariff or would receive the console for free with tariffs upwards of £35. Mid-sized stores are believed to have given away around 10 PSPs. One Orange salesman said the offer produced a 20% increase in sales in his store, with all PSPs being snapped up. ‘It’s like killing two birds with one stone: buy a phone and get a Christmas present at the same time,’ he said.