Orange is set to launch its first UK-based Technocentre in the New Year.
Opening on 5 January, the centre will oversee the development of products and services for the telecommunications giant.
Forming part of the Orange Labs Network – which has a staff of 5000 – the Technocentre will see 80 staff, made up of engineers, marketers and researchers, work across current UK locations.
The Technocentre will work with the existing Orange Labs R&D, which already operates in the UK. Orange says it expects new products and services developed through the Technocentre to arrive in the second half of 2009.
The facility’s key purpose is to identify changes in industry, culture and customer behavior, according to Orange.
Overseas Orange Technocentres have been responsible for Home 3D TV, the world’s first electronic newspaper, and text-to-voice services for people with sensory disabilities.
Orange says that the UK developers will work on services for France Telecom’s 170 million customers – 115 million of which are under the Orange brand – and focus on some UK-specific projects.