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SFR subs get Happy Zone

French operator SFR launched “Happy Zone”, a home zone cellular service on Thursday, allowing users to benefit from flat rate unlimited calls to domestic fixed lines.

The service works much like T-Mobile’s @Home offering, which allows subscribers to make cheaper calls from the network cell their home resides in.

The Happy Zone for SFR customers can vary between 250m and 2km, depending on whether they live in an urban or rural area.

The service costs Eur15 per month for postpaid subscribers and offers customers unlimited calls to domestic fixed lines using their regular mobile handset.

The service will be launched in a handful of regions to start with, to be followed by full national commercial rollout in April.

Vincent Poulbere, analyst at Ovum, believes SFR’s offering is a direct reply to Orange’s recently launched Unik (Unique) service.

But whereas Orange’s offering, like BT Fusion, requires a new dual mode handset and a broadband connection, SFR’s strategy presents several advantages, the main one being that all mobile phones are supported.

“The addressable market for SFR’s service is much larger compared to its competitors. However SFR’s Eur15 per month offer may not be competitive for customers already having a broadband connection,” said Poulbere. “Also, heavy mobile users will prefer full unlimited mobile offerings, available anywhere and to any number, like those currently promoted by Bouygues Telecom,” Poulbere added.

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