Iliad's Free launches new triple-play offer, tells mobile rivals to calm down

Iliad lived up to its promise of launching a new offer for Free fixed-line subscribers, but fears that the company's Free Mobile unit would start yet another price war on the French mobile market appear to be unfounded--at least for now.

 SEO keywords here

Iliad founder Xavier Niel

The France-based operator's founder Xavier Niel on Tuesday unveiled a new entry-level triple-play bundle of fixed voice, internet and TV services at €29.99 ($32) a month, and also introduced new technologies such as 4K for high-definition broadcasting and a new "Freebox mini 4K" set-top box that uses the Android operating system (OS).

In terms of mobile pricing, the only change announced was that up to four mobile price plans are now available at €15.99 a month for each Freebox subscription, compared to two previously. Subscribers without an existing fixed-line subscription still pay €19.99 a month for a Free Mobile contract, which continues to include unlimited calls, SMS and MMS in France; 20 GB of 4G or 3G mobile data; unlimited Wi-Fi; and a 35-day a year roaming pass including 3 GB of data.

Before Niel made his appearance at a press conference on Tuesday, it had been speculated by French media that Free Mobile would cut in half its €19.99 offer, causing shares in rival operators Orange, Numericable-SFR and Bouygues Telecom to fall sharply, the Financial Times reported.

Reuters noted that share prices improved again following Niel's announcement, after it appeared that Free Mobile is not initiating a new price war on the mobile market. The effects of the launch by the company of a €19.99 mobile contract in January 2012 are still being felt in France to this day, and a new mobile price war would put further pressure on operator margins and market share.

Niel may yet have further plans for his mobile unit; indeed, in November last year he said mobile users should also see some new developments between February and August this year.

For now, the Iliad founder has sought to reassure the market:

"Our core business is in the fixed area...We said in November we would launch a little surprise and so it will be in fixed," Niel said, Reuters reported. "To my competitors I say calm down, calm down, everything will be fine."

For more:
- see this Iliad release on the new Freebox mini 4K
- see this Iliad release on its new mobile offer
- see this Reuters article
- see this Financial Times article (sub. req.)

Related Articles:
Arcep awards 1800 MHz frequencies to Free Mobile
Altice completes SFR deal, gets green light for Virgin Mobile purchase
Bouygues Telecom overhauls its mobile plans in new competitive drive
Iliad, Bouygues Telecom earnings show French competition remains fierce
Iliad's Niel rules out Bouygues Telecom buy, promises surprises ahead

 

Suggested Articles

Sprint said it will offer discounted service to customers age 55 and above.

Unlimited data plans placed a strain on carrier networks last year, but according to OpenSignal the carriers met the challenge.

Verizon plans to bring 5G to four U.S. cities this year and hopes to have standards-based equipment in place for some of those deployments.