While Free Mobile has more than 11 million subscribers in France, Xavier Niel plans to buy the Belgian networks Base and Mobistar.
Iliad, Free’s parent company, is said to have its sights set on Belgium. In any case, this is what suggests the subject of Xavier Niel. In an interview with the Belgian magazine Trends, the founder and vice-president ofIliad admitted being interested in the Base and Mobistar mobile networks, in the event that their owners (KPN and France Telecom respectively) put them up for sale.
Xavier Niel considers Belgium, a neighboring and French-speaking country, as a “natural extension” of the network free mobile. Launched in January 2012, with its very aggressive offer (all unlimited package for 19.99 euros per month), the service had triggered a real price war in France, forcing the main operators (Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom) to review their lower prices.
A revolution that has greatly benefited Iliad, with sales of 907 million euros in the first quarter of 2013. In total, Free currently has over 11 million subscribers, including 870,000 acquired in the first quarter.
In this very favorable context, the expansion projects of Xavier Niel is not a surprise. However, nothing is certain yet: as stated Xavier Niel himself, “there is no actor for sale in Belgium” at the moment.