Free launches an entry-level box compatible with Google TV, the “Freebox mini 4K”

by bold-lichterman

The telephony market is used to quivering, the day before an announcement planned by Free. After announcing a “surprise” conference to journalists, the operator revealed the next day a new entry-level Freebox: the “Freebox mini 4K”. This is a product intended to replace the Freebox crystal, the case is 5 times smaller than that of the crystal previously available.

It works under Android, therefore compatible with all terminals operating under this operating system. “It is the first non-Google device in the world to integrate Google TV” announces Xavier Niel. Its teams have been working in collaboration with those of Google for a year. This product is equipped with femtosell technology, that is to say an integrated 3G terminal. “Finally a 3G network worthy of the name! Some connoisseurs will say. This box is compatible with optical fiber.

This is the first time that a box is compatible with 4K technology, which offers an image definition quality “4 times higher than that of HD” indicates Xavier Niel. Note that for the moment, the content produced and available in 4K quality is still very rare in France. The box will be marketed at a price of 29.99 euros, without commitment, “all inclusive, with television” ensures Xavier Niel. Customers who choose this “Freebox mini 4K” will be able to benefit from a reduced rate mobile plan. And this is the main information on Free’s business strategy: subscribers to this box will be able to benefit from 4 packages linked to this subscription, against only one previously. A lever for growth on mobile via the fixed offer for Free, which hopes to convince customers of other operators to join the fold of Free.

Since the beginning of the year, the rumor of a phone sold under its own brand, a Freephone had grown. But according to an expert interviewed by FrenchWeb, the operator would have had more interest in innovating on the services offered in “broadband”. The other rumor also concerned the price of the packages Free, on which the operator had already jostled everyone in 2011. Rumor has it that Xavier Niel would be ready to halve the price of his flagship package to go to 10 euros per month.

On the Paris Stock Exchange, the titles of Free’s competitors, the main ones affected by this announcement, fell on Monday evening. Orange lost nearly 6%, back to 15 euros, SFR Numericable showed a drop in price of 9.6% and Bouygues 3.5%. This morning shortly after the announcement of this new Freebox, the share of its parent company, Iliad, took 3.36% (price on Euronext around 10:38 am). At the same time, the Numericable-SFR share price rose 2.40% and Orange by 2.23%.