Orderly Revolution: The Case of France Telecom
After a century of state monopoly in telephone service provision, the legislative and organisational framework in the telecommunications sector in France changed fundamentally in the 1990s. This chapter focuses on the process of corporatisation, the privatisation process, the effect of these processes on France Telecom's 'business orientation', and finally, the role played by internationalisation, after a short introduction where necessary contextual information is presented. In the decade between 1975 and 1985 the French political establishment had not approached the issue of reform of the telecommunications sector because of fears of a repetition of the large social unrest in 1974, when reform had been proposed. The focus on new technologies and internationalisation led to France Telecom attempting to build 'seamless' mobile and broadband networks, organisationally through Orange for mobile services, Wannadoo for Internet services, and Equant providing global services for the business segment.