According to an article from La Tribune, published on Sunday, the Minister of Industry Eric Besson, asked the National Frequencies Agency (ANFR) to carry out an audit within ten days to measure “the effective coverage of the operator’s networks free mobile on the metropolitan territory ”. The first results of the operation are therefore expected on February 29 and must be delivered directly to Eric Besson.
The ANFR must therefore draw up an inventory and test the various Free branches according to their capacities (reception of calls, possibility of making calls, access to broadband, etc.).
This audit is therefore taking place in parallel with the one currently being carried out by Arcep, which announced last Friday that it would communicate early March on the state of the coverage of the Free Mobile network but also on that of its competitors.
In order to launch its commercial offer, Free Mobile signed a roaming contract with Orange a few months ago. As part of this agreement, Free Mobile has undertaken to set up a network that covers 27% of the population. However, according to the incumbent operator, 97% of communications on Free Mobile currently pass through its own antennas.
According to the estimates of Cabinet Oddo Securites, taken over by Capital.fr, Free Mobile already has a little more than 2M subscribers. In addition, Free is currently recruiting 35,000 new customers per day. A pace which should run out of steam to reach 3.3M subscribers by the end of 2012, or nearly 5% of the market share. This figure could reach 10.9M customers in 2015, for just over 14% of the market share.