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ORANGE applies "Big Data" to promote economic and social development

7. Community involvement

Skills and technology transfer


Every day, the digital world generates several trillion bytes from the widest array of sources: climate sensors, social media, digitized images, uploaded videos, online purchases, even cell phone signals. These massive amounts of data are referred to as "Big Data"; they give rise to one of the digital era's most significant challenges in terms of both processing and applications. With a major stake as regards its networks, Orange has been eyeing this field as a potential opportunity for economic and social development in countries where the Group does business; in this pursuit, the "Data for Development" challenge initiative was launched.


  • Explore the field of research and applications for mobile "Big Data" towards achieving socioeconomic development goals;
  • Create and implement projects that serve to improve the quality of life for local populations.


 "Data for Development" has been set up as an open innovation challenge intended to process massive amounts of cell phone data for development purposes in countries served by Orange. The first round was held in 2013 in the Ivory Coast. Open to the international scientific community, this contest offered researchers the possibility to examine how to boost development and improve the well-being of local populations from analyzing statistical data held on mobile network traffic.

During this round, the scientific community was given access, within the confines of contest rules, to a database collating 2.5 billion pieces of statistical information on mobile networks. This pool of data, which corresponds to the traffic being exchanged by 5 million Ivory Coast users over a several-month stretch, was entrusted to Orange Labs as well as to scientists in the form of statistics and completely anonymized samples.

The research findings presented as part of this contest focused on problem areas, like: anticipating epidemics, reacting to crises, recognizing the early warning signs and impacts of droughts, optimizing the use of certain infrastructure, and offering the possibility to conceive new services capable of meeting the needs of local populations.

On the heels of this initial success, Orange and Sonatel announced the launch of the 2nd challenge round in Senegal.

A challenge site has even been created by Orange:


  • Design of new commercial services with a positive impact on local populations.


  • A very broad field of data application: health, agriculture, transportation / urban planning, energy and national statistics.
  • Socioeconomic development of emerging nations.
152 000 (2018)
41,1 milliards € (2015)


78 Rue Olivier de Serres
75000 Paris


Alain Dubois, Délégué RSE déploiement et mise en œuvre, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 06 32 06 41 36

Mise à jour le 19/12/2016

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