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Orange leads telecom innovation with Orange 5G Lab 

Orange shapes the world of tomorrow with Orange 5G Lab

With Orange 5G Lab, we stimulate and support digital innovation and collaboration like never before. This year we are not only celebrating our ambitious initiative’s first year of operations, but we also continue to build on our ever-expanding network of sites across Europe. As of today, more than 670 companies of all sizes or local authorities have passed through an Orange 5G Lab, with 81 of them receiving support for their 5G experiments. 

These impressive numbers position Orange as an innovative employer that is leading the future of digital technology. But above all, these numbers make us feel #ProudToBeOrange, because they highlight the visionary talents of our team. That is why we spoke with Innovation Managers Juliette Malherbe and Wouter Van Tilborg to talk about what it's like to work for Orange 5G Lab and make Orange a pioneer in 5G technology! 

Hi Juliette and Wouter, you both work as Innovation Managers at Orange. What does this innovative job entail?

Juliette: As an Innovation Manager and partner of Orange Fab - Orange’s start-up accelerator - I look for start-ups in Belgium and Luxembourg with whom we want to set up a co-innovation project to grow commercially. After meeting with them, I put them in touch with the right business unit within Orange. 

 

Wouter:  As an Innovation Manager, I’m working on 5G applications that we can hopefully valorize or turn into a product the day after tomorrow. In other words, the focus is not on marketing or selling something today, but on commercializing products for the near future. 

Orange is a leader in innovation in Belgium, the Orange 5G Lab in Antwerp is proof of that. How do you experience that as an employee on a day-to-day basis?

Juliette: Thanks to my job at Orange, I get to meet lots of start-ups and learn more about the amazing new technology they develop. Once a collaboration is set up, I see how we can change the future of companies and the world. For example, through one of our collaborations we’ve been able to create a 5G Artificial Intelligence solution that allows railways to function autonomously, creating a much safer work environment for employees in the railway industry.     

 

Wouter: It’s true that we’re leaders in innovation, especially in terms of how we implement 5G on a B2B level. We really help shape the future of companies and industrial partners. I experience this daily through the support we receive from the international organization behind Orange. We don’t just innovate for Belgium; we innovate on an international scale. 

Are you proud of Orange's innovative breakthroughs, such as the launch of the very first 5G Lab in Belgium? Why?

Juliette: Yes! Thanks to the 5G Lab initiative, we can welcome people from both large and small companies and show them, through various use cases, how 5G technology can boost their business and achieve their ambitions. To me, that is very inspiring.  

 

Wouter: Of course! Because it demonstrates how we can co-innovate with other companies and build a better future through 5G. Our use cases are a testimonial to the power of innovation and collaboration. This free-thinking and open culture sets us apart from other companies.

Other than the innovative aspect, what makes you proud to work at Orange?

Juliette: What makes me #ProudToBeOrange is that I am always able to create new projects and feel supported. I can do more than what is expected of me and get out of my comfort zone, which stimulates my creativity. Moreover, there is a great team spirit at Orange and everyone is always willing to work together and help each other.  

 

Wouter: Our commitment to sustainability and diversity. We don't just put it on paper and on our website, but we put it into practice every single day. For example, some companies are now putting themselves in the spotlight through clean energy initiatives, but Orange switched to 100% green energy back in 2014! As for diversity, everyone is welcome and you can really be yourself here.

What is your personal dream or ambition for the future of 5G Lab?

Juliette: To continue to work on digital inclusion. We’ve already started a 5G & network training program, an initiative that offers students from disadvantaged backgrounds the chance to learn more about 5G and prepare them for a job in the telecom sector. It would be great to bring even more students toward our 5G Lab! 

 

Wouter: My ambition is to welcome more companies into our 5G Lab for smaller projects and then immediately work out a use case with them and showcase our success. Luckily, our team is already working on that so stay tuned for more!

Finally, Orange is always looking for new colleagues. What kind of people fit into your team, in your opinion?

Juliette: We need people who are interested in new technologies and can translate them to everyone. People who are agile and willing to work on different projects and who welcome new opportunities and always give the best version of themselves. So, to everyone considering applying to Orange: Do it! Because we are crazy enough to support you with your dreams!  

 

Wouter: People who are bold. People who dare to think and take action. Especially when it comes to innovation, we are always looking for profiles with an out-of-the-box approach and who have the courage to turn their idea into reality. And even if one of your ideas turns out to be too big for the technology currently available, together we can already take the first step toward making that dream a reality in the future.  

Thank you Juliette and Wouter for your time and we wish you all the best with your inspiring journey within Orange! 

Feeling inspired to join Orange?  

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