LONDON--Mobile brand Orange is reviewing international PR support as it attempts to raise its profile in a fiercely competitive market.

The flagship brand of France Telecom is understood to have asked a number of firms for credentials, for an assignment that focuses on corporate communications at a group level. The business is currently handled by Edelman. 

France Telecom-Orange's operations currently span 32 countries, accounting for 231m subscribers. The brand is largely Europe-focused - including major markets such as France, the UK, Poland and Spain - but does include interests in Africa and the Middle East  and recently bid for a mobile licence in Burma.

One agency source involved in the review told the Holmes Report that the brand is likely aiming to boost its profile as competitors, such as Telefonica, Vodafone and AT&T, make inroads into emerging markets.

According to its "2015 strategy", France Telecom-Orange is aiming to reach 300m subscribers by 2015 via expansion in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. 

The assignment, continued the source, is a "fairly traditional one", focusing on reputation, media coverage and differentiation from competitors. Much of Orange's corporate PR activity is housed at France Telecom's HQ in Paris.

Orange head of external communications Vanessa Clarke confirmed the review of the group's "agency roster", but declined to provide further details.

In the UK, the Orange operates under EE, via a joint venture with T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom, but local assignments are not under review.

Orange was acquired by France Telecom in 2000 and has since become the French telecoms group's main worldwide brand for internet, TV and mobile services.