Analyst: Free Mobile driving structural change within France

Iliad's Free Mobile, which burst onto the scene earlier this year and has attracted more than two million subscribers, has catalysed the largest growth in total French mobile subscribers since 2001, according to a new study from Analysys Mason. A total of 854,000 new customers were attracted to the French mobile market in the first quarter of 2012, and Free's arrival pushed up churn rates during this period to around 8 per cent for postpaid customers and 18 per cent for prepaid subscribers. By comparison, these rates were around 3 to 5 per cent and 11 to 14 per cent, respectively, during the previous eight quarters. Of note, Bouygues Telecom and SFR were affected the most by Free Mobile's market entry in France, according to the study, while all the MVNOs' subscriber bases only suffered modest declines. Article