Iliad’s Free Mobile – the low-cost French operator launched at the beginning of the year – revealed today that it had signed up 2.6 million subscribers by the end of Q1, claiming to have captured nearly 4 percent of the French mobile market in just 80 days.
The firm highlighted figures to show that the total French market had grown by 854,000 subscribers in Q1, suggesting that Free Mobile’s 2.6 million customers included a substantial number of defections from rivals. Market-leader Orange France lost 615,000 mobile customers following Free’s launch on 10 January.
Free offers two ‘no-contract’ plans: EUR2/month for 60 minutes of voice calls and EUR19.99/month for unlimited voice, SMS, MMS and Internet. It said that its subscriber base at the end of Q1 was “distributed evenly between the two plans, between the Free community and newcomers, and between subscriptions with mobile number portability and those with a new phone number assigned.”
“With its commercial and price innovations, Free Mobile has liberated conventions and galvanised a market that had been at a standstill for many long years,” the operator added in a statement.
The firm also did well in its traditional fixed broadband business, surpassing 5 million subscribers for the first time. It added 191,000 new subs in the period, which it said accounted for “well over” half of all the country’s broadband net additions.
Iliad’s total Q1 revenue rose 29 percent to EUR655.7 million, ahead of the EUR594-628 million range predicted in a Reuters analysts’ poll. This included EUR97.5 million of revenue from the new mobile business.