4G at Orange and Bouygues and 2.2 million subscribers for Free Mobile
After a long delay in terms of 4G accumulated by France, Orange announced this morning that it would launch very high speed mobile for its subscribers from next June. Marseille will appear as the first pilot city and will therefore benefit in preview from 4G, with several covered districts.
Update: After Orange, it’s Bouygues telecom’s turn to announce that it too will play the 4G card as of next June. While Orange chose Marseille as the test city, Bouygues, for its part, opted for the Lyon conurbation. The operator indicates that it will extend its very high-speed mobile network to the whole of France until the end of the year.
Along with these announcement Bouygues Telecom, comes for its part, to evaluate the number of customers that would have succeeded in attracting Free mobile. Thus, according to Olivier Roussat, general manager of the third French mobile operator, Free Mobile would count to date nearly 2.2M customers. This estimate is based on the observation of the numbers of Free Mobile transiting on the Bouygues Telecom network. In early March, Orange for its part estimated the number of Free Mobile subscribers at 1.5M.
As a reminder, a few weeks after the arrival of Free on the mobile phone market, Bouygues announced that it had lost nearly 134,000 customers, while SFR and Orange respectively reported a loss of nearly 200,000 subscribers.
Fair play, Olivier Roussat therefore underlined the success of Free Mobile. However, this underlined a drop in requests for portability to Free. A slowdown which could in particular be explained by the various failures encountered by the fourth mobile operator.