French low-cost 3G operator Free has managed to acquire nearly four per cent of the country’s market share in just 80 days.
Having launched on January 10, 2012, the operator said during its first ever quarterly results announcement that it had acquired 2.6 million mobile subscribers by 31 March 2012. Free offers coverage to about 30 per cent of the population via its own network and relies on a roaming agreement with Orange for extended coverage.
Success came at the expense of its rivals – SFR, for example, admitted that it lost 620,000 mobile subscribers in the quarter. Orange France lost 615,000 mobile customers.
The operator offered two low-cost commercial mobile plans at launch: the €2 per month no-contract offering (€0 per month for Freebox subscribers) for 60 minutes voice and 60 SMS per month; and the €19.99 per month no-contract offering (€15.99 per month for Freebox subscribers) with unlimited voice, SMS, MMS and internet, with a 3GB fair use policy.
Parent group Iliad, said in a statement: “With its commercial and price innovations, Free Mobile has liberated conventions and galvanized a market that had been at a standstill for many long years.”