While 4G was hitherto the case of incumbents, French new entrant Free now invite in the race. To this, the precursors must respond if they do not want to see their monopoly melt quickly.
The first to react is Bouygues Telecom which announced on Monday, extending the mobile broadband to its entire range of packages and at no extra cost to the consumer. According to a company press release dated December 9th, 2013, Bouygues Telecom will make “the largest 4G network in France (with 63% population coverage) more accessible and thus encourage the service usage.”
Bouygues’s announcement was a reaction to the announcement made last week by the mobile phone operator Free to offer its customers 4G at the same price as the 3G. By offering 4G with its €19.99 monthly plan, Free said it is offering a price that is five times cheaper than that proposed in the market for this type of 4G plan.
By way of comparison, rival Bouygues Telecom’s cheapest 4G plan costs EUR29.99 (for 3GB of data), while Orange provides 4G services for EUR39.99 per month (including 4GB of data); and SFR charges EUR42.99 for 3GB of data over its 4G network.
Thus, even those who had hitherto a package without commitment at the third operator can take advantage of 63% coverage in 4G LTE. This relates to the time that offers Bouygues, which implies that B&YOU customers will have to wait a little bit.
As a reminder, it is necessary to have a compatible device to make it work.
In addition, Bouygues Telecom indicates that the increase in VAT scheduled for 1 January will not affect the prices of its packages, or those of B&YOU. Good news knowing that this is not the case with Sosh (Orange). French market leader Orange was reported by Reuters to be sticking with its plan to increase its 4G prices in February next year, arguing that “coverage and quality are fundamental”.
Photo Credit: Sevenjoy Daniel