Subject to strong pressure from the competition, the telecom operator is gradually abandoning the low cost operator model.
It was not possible to stop the decline in subscribers in the third quarter. In France, the operator lost 90,000 mobile customers, and has a total of 13,535 million and 14,000 in fixed, at $ 6.459 million. If free does not burn, the situation is no less alarming.
To attract new customers, Free would implement a new pricing policy, on the model of its competitors. The first twelve months, its fixed offers are offered at 9.99 euros and 19.99 euros / month before rising respectively to 24.99 euros and then 44.99 euros. A choice that begins to weigh the monthly income per subscriber, up to 32.1 euros compared to 33 years earlier. "Free's competitors have hit it on the wallet by multiplying the promotions on the groundlines," says an industry expert. Free is no longer the only one that can offer subscribers at very attractive prices.
It also suffers from the deployment of the Orange Fiber Offer, especially in major cities. Although 100,000 subscribers registered in the last quarter, the current operator recorded an additional 158,000 in the same period. Free customers may also be tempted to play the watch, pending the launch of a new Freebox. This is expected for November 20, a date that was not approved by the group, only to indicate "before Christmas".
More systematically the cheapest in the market
In mobile, free also suffers the full power of competing offers of broken price rivalry. It can also set a new tariff offer also mobile by increasing its price to 8.99 euros for 12 months (then 19.99 euros or 15.99 for Freebox subscribers), it is no longer the cheapest method in the market, depending on the current promotion.
"If Free no longer makes the difference by price, it will have to invest more in its mobile network to stay in the race," says an observer. Unless the group reaches a new agreement with Orange. This latest hypothesis is not on the agenda of Orange, said mid-October its president Le Figaro. Now we must look for the good news from the other side of the Alps. The operator currently has 2.3 million customers, and offers a new start since its launch in June. It is thanks to this success that the turnover of its parent company Iliad increased by 1.7% to 1.2 billion euros. But free had to agree last month to pay 1.2 billion euros to get frequencies for 5G …. This is endangering the results of its Italian subsidiary.