Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Free response to attacks by its competitors

The various operators, including Orange, had gone to campaign in recent days to try to counter Free. Niel has the opportunity while at the Economic Affairs Committee of the National Assembly to try to end some controversy (this hearing can be reviewed online). The members of this commission have literally bombarded with questions about the founder of Free the topics of the moment: national coverage, 4G, competition, the social package operators, fiber optics or the consequences on employment ...
Niel was invited among others to present his vision of mobile telephony in France. He did not hesitate to consider customers of competitors as "cash cow", including Bouygues (several times the target of spades), referring to the prices of its unlimited plans in 2008 that exceeded the 150 euros per month. He also invited his competitor to lower prices rather than sending all over France (including Britain) bailiffs to ensure the proper functioning of Free Mobile networks (Bouygues, like others, had denied in be the initiator). He mocked the passage of the famous picture showing in a technical Freebox Free Mobile. 

"Prices have not dropped to 90% of French people," lamented Xavier Niel since the launch of Free Mobile. The man said that operators have raised their prices only with their sub-brands (B & You, Sosh ...). He insisted that none of the three operators came to know the attack on Free Two-euro package, for one simple reason according to him. This would result in a significant decrease in the average annual revenue per user (ARPU) for these players.

Contrary to what some would have you believe, Free Mobile is a virtual operator. It currently relies heavily on the infrastructure of Orange, especially in Paris, but this is only temporary. Incidentally, it was suggested that its competitors would certainly sticks in the wheels of Free to complicate deployment of its network in the capital.

Going back to Orange, Xavier Niel explained that this agreement should bring more than one billion euros from the incumbent. Often alternating cold and hot with Orange, he said that he had "the best network," it was "the company we feel closest" and that teams from both groups maintained "to excellent relations.” He also said he chose Orange, although this was not the lowest bid that had been proposed.

Free has the ambition to pursue the same strategy to the mobile for ADSL and deploy anywhere. The operator currently has 1,000 branches and hopes to have 5000 as soon as possible. Free plans to invest heavily in the next three years to make up as much as possible the gap with its competitors and (incidentally) to generate better margins.

And it is with this in mind also that Free has purchased the 900 MHz spectrum, a band that can "cover the territory with relative ease." The business leader also said he had obtained the 4G frequencies that interested him, those that allow for the flow in dense areas. Free, like Orange, received 20 MHz of contiguous spectrum. "We believe that 4G is made to dandify. Orange and we have received 20 MHz of contiguous spectrum. It was the only one that interested us, because we have the 3G spectrum. We wanted the broadest spectrum possible, because the demands of the French, it's flow. "

Niel has often been questioned about his vision of the market of mobile telephony, especially about Orange, which he; with Free Mobile is the only key player on the market (Stéphane Richard was recently surprised by this restrictive view thing from a new player who criticized the weakness of competition in place). For the founder of Free, model, what is innovation, based on DATA.

Orange, for him, is legitimate, because it offers”reinsurance". And this is also why it is more expensive than its competitors and that it does not bother the French. He believes that other company [SFR and Bouygues] must reinvent itself and "stop aping the incumbent." On the other hand, Free will soon publishes an offer so that virtual operators can if they want access to its network.

Among the criticisms of the competition, Xavier Niel has attacked the subsidy system established by operators. For him, this is "a disguised credit without following the law on consumer credit." One way to invite legislators to address this problem. Free Mobile wants to offer freedom to the consumer, stating that it was not his business than to sell phones and he had no problem if a customer's terminal Free Mobile bought elsewhere.

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