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The new head of broadband and mobile operations at Orange will begin work today with a brief of improving the telecommunications firm's subscriber numbers.

Tom Alexander, who was one of the original founders of Virgin Mobile and its broadband division Virgin Media, takes on the role formally today after his appointment was first announced in October last year.

He will be tasked with improving Orange's status in the competitive UK broadband market, where it is currently ranked fifth in terms of subscriber numbers with a total of 1,142,000.

Olaf Swantee, head of the Orange Group, said: "With his experience leading some of the biggest brands in the industry and guiding them to commercial and financial success, Tom has the perfect pedigree to deliver continued growth in both Orange's traditional and exciting new markets."

Orange currently offers two packages; the Home Starter and Home Max, which carry standard prices of £12 and £24 and offer speeds of 2mbps and 8mbps respectively, but are available cheaper when bought as part of a telephony bundle.

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