Orange gets social

Orange plans to offer mobile access to the Bebo internet social networking site — users will be able to update their profiles, add photos, add new friends, view other people’s profiles and receive notifications. It will also let customers send SMS messages to friends on Bebo. Customers will be offered a Bebo Bundle, including unlimited access to the Bebo site and text messages; pricing hasn’t yet been unveiled, though the service will launch by this summer.

The Bebo move obviously fits a strategic direction outlined by Orange Group chief executive Sanjiv Ahuja in his keynote address at the CTIA Wireless industry trade show. “Mobile carriers will need to improve their customer experience to avoid becoming ‘content pipes’ … We as an industry must not lose sight of what our brands can offer to customers.”