Bouygues Telecom enriches smartphone plans with new content offers

Bouygues Telecom is continuing its quest to strengthen its position on France's mobile market by adding new content services to enhance the attractiveness of its postpaid smartphone plans.

The company, which faces even stronger competition on the market since the merger of SFR and Numericable last year, said it would offer subscribers to its Sensation plans a choice of Spotify Premium, Gameloft, CanalPlay Start and unlimited TV. The new offer will start on Jan. 19 for the 5GB, 10GB and 20GB Sensation plans and March 23 for the 3 GB Sensation plan.

"The partnerships with these major players are consistent with Bouygues Telecom's strategy to continually enhance the customer experience by expanding plans to include the best available services and content," the company said in a statement.

The move to enrich the Sensation plans comes only two months after Bouygues Telecom overhauled its smartphone tariffs by introducing a "simpler range of mobile plans" as part of ongoing efforts to increase its competitiveness in a market with four players.

The move saw the company reposition its formerly separate B&YOU plans as low-cost SIM-only tariffs to complement the premium Sensation plans. With the addition of new content to the Sensation plans, the operator is now creating an even greater distinction between its basic and premium smartphone plans.

Like many operators in Europe including Vodafone, Bouygues Telecom is betting on such content plays to drive take up of its LTE and LTE Advanced services. However, it remains to be seen how this new approach will affect Bouygues Telecom's fortunes in France. In early January, Jefferies analysts revised previous EBITDA forecasts downwards for 2014 and said they expect to see further declines in earnings in 2015, indicating that the company faces another difficult year in 2015.

Since then, Orange CEO Stephane Richard has also re-ignited discussions over a possible consolidation of the French mobile market, telling Reuters that there is a "natural pressure" towards consolidation in the sector.

Previous efforts to merge Bouygues Telecom with Orange or Iliad foundered over price, but Bouygues Telecom remains the clear target in any potential consolidation.

For more:
- see this Bouygues Telecom release
- see this Reuters article

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