The mobile price war in France continues to have its winners and losers, with both Vivendi and Bouygues Telecom reporting worsening profits in the first quarter as Iliad boasted that its mobile revenue tripled in the same period.
SFR could be the next operator after Maroc Telecom to face the Vivendi axe, although the French media and telecoms group insisted it is in no rush to sell anything, especially at the wrong price.
France Telecom this week clearly spelled out its hopes for LTE as the operator reported a drop in revenue in the first quarter and described as 'ferocious' the ongoing price war in France's mobile market. Will LTE bring everything that Europe's operators are hoping, however? EE's first quarter suggests it's far from an easy ride, while one report also doubts that LTE will restore pricing power in Europe. Moving to LTE may be a 'no brainer,' but as is always the case in mobile, creating value and service differentiation to drive up revenue will be hard to do.
France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard said that the company's average revenue per user for its customers in France will decline at a faster rate this year than in 2012.
Vivendi is considering splitting off its French mobile network subsidiary, SFR, into a separate company, according to a Bloomberg report. The SFR discussions follow failed attempts to get acceptable bids for Vivendi's other properties, Activision Blizzard and Brazilian broadband company GVT.
The cost of building Free Mobile's mobile network ate into Iliad's net profit in 2012, although the French fixed and mobile operator said it was still in the black and achieved an almost 50 percent increase in sales to €3.15 billion last year, with over €840 million generated by the new mobile unit.
French mobile operators will be able to ink network sharing deals after the country's antitrust authority gave its approval on a limited basis. The antitrust authority said it would closely monitor the market to ensure that competition is maintained.
France Telecom (FT) said its 2012 profits were heavily impacted by the ongoing price war in its domestic market and writedowns totalling €1.84 billion on some of its units.
A new study from research firm Analysys Mason questions whether other European operators will be able to mimic the success of Iliad, Orange and Telefónica in gaining millions of quadruple-play or fixed–mobile bundle subscribers in a very short space of time.
SFR will introduce new mobile tariff plans that will make it "the cheapest in the market," according to CEO Stéphane Roussel. The new plans will see SFR, France's No. 2 operator, reduce the majority of its monthly subscriptions by €10, according to La Tribune.