Positioning itself as an ugly duckling constantly mocked by the three mobile operators already in place in France (Orange, SFR and Bouygues Télécom), Free finally, after many days of buzz, presented its offers, becoming the fourth operator on the 3G network. He thus proposes to the users to “stop being taken for pigeons” by putting an end to a certain number of constraints or even “swindles”: all the offers will be without commitment, with simplified general conditions of sale, and tariffs which must “finally no longer be the highest in Europe or even in the world”.
Another element highlighted was the end of roaming tariffs when you call abroad, especially for those who are on the border, to your “neighbour” in the country next door. As a result, like fixed-line telephony, the Free Mobile offers will include a number of destinations included in the package as unlimited destinations: Europe, Switzerland, Dom-Tom, USA, Canada, etc. In all, 40 destinations outside France.
Like voice and SMS, MMS will be unlimited and the Internet usage included in the package will be extended to include uses such as television and voice over IP, with a “fair use” (limit beyond which the speed is reduced) of 3 GB. Lastly, Free Mobile will provide Wi-Fi access to the large network of hot-spots comprising all the Freeboxes installed on the Internet park.
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Number portability, cancellation, unlocking your mobile, what you need to know before subscribing to Free Mobile
Free Mobile Plans: What you need to know in one image
In 2008, Free discussed the idea of “halving” the price of subscriptions. The objective is indeed achieved with a basic rate of 19.99 euros/month for a package with unlimited voice, SMS, MMS, data (fair use 3 GB) and with 40 destinations abroad included. However, some elements of this package can be “blocked”, for example by parents to limit their children’s use of the mobile phone.
For Freebox subscribers (any ADSL offer) who wish to switch to quadruple-play by subscribing to Free Mobile, the price of this package is set at Another improvement according to Free: the reduction in the cost of calls from abroad compared with the existing price: €0.50/minute.
In addition, Free offers a package including 60 voice minutes and 60 SMS messages for €2 per month. “By making the margin”, says Free, and with a flat-rate overrun of 5 cents per minute and 1 cent per SMS. And for Freebox subscribers, the price of this package goes down to 0 euros!
On the other hand, the Free Mobile plan is totally unconnected to the phone, which can be purchased at the same time or elsewhere. However, Free announces that it offers all the mobiles and smartphones on the market, including the iPhone 4S. Payment for the mobile phone can be made in cash or on credit, over 12, 24 or 36 months. These are mobiles that are not “simlocked”, i.e. linked in particular to this operator.
These packages are available as of today on mobile.free.fr, by telephone on 10 44 and in the few physical shops opened by Free. Officially, they are reserved as a “launch offer” for 3 million subscribers. But it is difficult to see how Free Mobile could then raise its rates or change its conditions.
Other operators can therefore expect a high level of churn, provided that the quality of the network and service follows. But we’ll soon find out about this, as the Free community is so active. (EP)
In practice: Number portability, cancellation and unblocking your mobile, what you need to know before subscribing