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back to article Cellular desperation in France drives not one, but two SFR offers

While there is merger mania among both fixed and cellular operators around the world for very positive reasons (in the US, Germany, the Netherlands and elsewhere), the desire to acquire in France is fuelled by slightly desperate appetites. For French operators, the disruption caused by two years of cellular market-share-grabbing …

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Bronze badge

This €2 a month business has GOT to stop...

When does it start ?

Fed up with paying T-Mob 12p for texts when they cost the telcos too little to calculate.

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Well done Free!

I'll stick with SFR for coverage and roaming, but thanks for driving the prices down!

I can get unlimited worldwide voice (fixed & mobile) & texts, plus 12GB data

as-well-as 2H voice & 100MB whilst roaming for 65 Euros/month now.

Merci!

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Anonymous Coward

It's sweet

Actually if you have a "Free" DSL connection they give you the 2 euro package for free.... it's 60 minutes of call and 60 text messages... not great but good to give to technophobes who don't use their phones much at all (old relatives)...

Their regular package is 15 euros, unlimited calls, mms, sms and 3G surfing.... with degraded performance after 2gb of data... understandably most french people use this package..

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Re: It's sweet

" it's 60 minutes of call and 60 text messages" - Are you sure? I think it's 2 hours and unlimited SMS and MMS for 2 € / month, and for free if you have already a DSL subscription.

Also, with the regular package, I believe the degradation comes after 3 GB, not 2.

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Anonymous Coward

Damage to competition ?

"For French operators, the disruption caused by two years of cellular market-share-grabbing by Iliad’s Free Mobile is leading to a major rethink. Many of their actions are now driven purely by self-preservation rather than an attempt to drive up profits."

Glad to see some sensible analysis on this, after hearing so many idiots over the french radio (yes, France Inter, I'm looking at you !).

Yes, Free caused irreparable damages to the 3 existing operators' bottom line when they came. Yes, they drove very high prices down to good/amazing packages. Yes, everyone I know has changed to Free, then sometimes back to initial provider's new great offer, which only exists because of Free.

Pity, the french media at big are still asking the question: "Will it damage competition ?".

Answer: YES.

Answer 2: See TPS merging with Canalsat a while ago and how Canalsat rapes the BIP out of their customers' wallet.

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Bronze badge

So, did the good value have a knock on effect

I can hear telcos screaming that if something like Iliad happened in the UK they would never be able to invest in 4G.

Has the rush for cheap prices in France damaged the 4G rollout?

Oh, and the right package to buy for old relatives in France is : Bazile.

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Bronze badge

Musical chairs

"Bouygues is said to claim that because it already has a mobile network, there would be both integration costs and savings from combining the two networks."

You're behind the times.

Bouyges is proposing to sell it's existing network to Free. A crazy game of musical chairs, attempting to keep the competiion authorities sweet.

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Thumb Up

viva free

when in France i use free as my internet provider, for 36€ a month i get excellent broadband service combined with FREE calls to 27 countries 24/7, can't wait for them to enter the uk broadband market.

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viva free

when in France i use free as my internet provider, for 36€ a month i get excellent broadband service combined with FREE calls to 27 countries 24/7, can't wait for them to enter the uk broadband market.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: viva free

excellent broadband service

You're lucky. I dumped Free broadband after years of steadily deteriorating service, outages that could last anything from a hour to a weekend, VPN throttling in the evenings (denied by Free, but every single person in my office who used Free had the same experience). The effect on competition was certainly useful, I now get rock solid broadband from Orange (FT), and free international calls to 100+ countries, for less than I was paying Free.

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Re: viva free

where my house is, there is only Free or France telecom ( not much choice when you live in the middle of nowhere) we were one of the last places in France to get broadband, never had the same problems as you with Free, i would like to know why Orange doesnt offer the same service and phone deals in UK?

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There is no real translation for the word bargain in France

I do not know what the rest of the world is doing but here in France mobile is a bad joke....an expensive bad joke as far as data is concerned.

I use Leclerc mobile pay as you go because if you do not use your credit they only take €1-50 per month, while the other providers just give you just 30 days to use your credit! In other words..use it or lose it!

Price competition in France is illegal.....to have a sale you have to get permission from the town hall and before you can advertise your "cut price" the town hall has to notify in writing all your local competitors of your forthcoming sale so they can match you........

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Silver badge
Facepalm

Bad joke

"Price competition in France is illegal....."

You might remember another story going on, the screaming and gnashing of teeth by booksellers over Amazon and how they're raping destroying claiming a lot of their business.

Thing is, using Amazon makes sense. Not just because of the free postage, that's not it. When you look on Amazon you know that a book is either there or it isn't. You don't have to fight nutjob drivers, bad weather, poorly thought out parking...only to find not only does your bookstore not have the book you want, but the staff barely know how to look up stuff and are really indifferent when it comes to questions like "can you order this?". I actually once had somebody reply "peut-être" (maybe) and walk away before I asked anything else. Oh, and one pro-tip. Amazon gives you a 5% discount. Just like everybody else. The booksellers wailed and gnashed their teeth when the supermarkets looked like undercutting them. So the law says 5% and that's it. As a result of this, there is little reason to be "fidèle" to any particular bookstore. Nobody can offer me a better price. Not even Amazon, unless you buy third-party. Way to shoot themselves in the foot, huh?

I'm sure France's commerce laws have some logical basis in the Napoleonic code, but sometimes, you really gotta wonder...

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