Mobile operator Free offer package at half price of comparable services

French mobile operator Free sets the cat amongst the pigeons with launch of new package.

According to their website for a cent under 20€ a month the package includes unlimited calls, texts and multimedia messages to 40 global destination including metropolitan France. If you are already a Free customer for your home broadband service the package is just 15.99€ a month.

In a bid to dominate the market in France, telecommunications entrepreneur and boss at Free Xavier Niel claims this package to be around half the price of comparable services from the likes of Orange and SFR. Analysts suggest that we may see a sharp cut in current tariffs being offered by these telco giants in an effort to retain their customer base.

“You now have the chance to teach your operator a lesson,” he told reporters during a news conference in Paris. “You have two choices: You can sign up with Free, or you can call your operator and ask them to match our rates.”

Free is also offering a budget package including a limited number of calls and texts for 2€ a month.

Watch out for 'phishing attacks', emails purporting to be from Free trying to get you to give up your login credentials.

What do you think, worth a look or could their level of customer service crumble under such demand?

There we go, the other operators are starting to drop their drawers too! Sosh for example.

I was with Orange but switched to SFR as things really got ludicrous - €50 pcm for internet and unlimited calls abroad. SFR gave me a great deal on a mobile tied in with the internet and their customer service team (yes, they does exist on France) are pretty good. Free called me today but frankly if it ain't broke I ain't gonna fix it, even if I save a few euros a month.

I used budget mobile as their charges are cheap however like evry other mobile operator else there's a time limit eg 15 eurs for 30 days after which you loose any credit. I couldn't be bothered keeping tabs on when my time limit was about to expire so often "lost" my credit. I now buy an 8 euro pay-as-you-go card at Carrefour with a Carrefour sim card, so at least I don't loose as much if i forget the one month time limit. We don't use the mobile much so it suits us fine.

My problem is that I work in France for about a week to ten days every month, so prepaid credits that expire are really annoying (which is what I had with SFr) . I reckon I only need about 10-15 mins calls and maybe 50 texts a month : the phone is mostly for the convenience of being contactable. Prixtel sounds interesting: thanks for the pointer!

I just signed up with budgetmobile because they seemed to offer mobile services significantly cheaper for my level of usage. Anyone got good/ bad experience with them?

FREE offer a very good service in Paris and some other large towns, but in the rural Countryside it is still necessary to go to the other providers, in my part of Bourgogne it is impossible to pick up any signal except from BOGYTELL, sorry Bouygues for instance. I believe free is actually based in Jersey where they provide the majority of mobile services.

I know it is off subject BUT have any of you noticed that EDF are reducing gas tariffs in the UK and have lots of electricity 'special offer' tariffs. It could simply be that the French market, this telephone business being good example, is stuck somewhere between a man with a van installing a phone then service engineers being thin on the ground to maintain the service. At the same time trying to competie with the likes of the Singapore type of environment where old style phones are virtually a thing of museums and most 'mobiles' carry cheap tariffs for the type of international calls offered here

Thank common sense for this!!!

I've been looking for a mobile contract for a while now but refuse to pay the painful prices in France! I need texts, calls and internet on my phone as I have a Blackberry so I'll definitely be seeing what Free can offer as the packages with other operators are ridiculous!

Apparently there is a limit to the offer of 3 million subscribers...

Watch out for some potentially dodgy Ts&Cs too...

[NB articles in French, sorry if that's problematic!]

hmmm.. I expect little of French Customer Service although I have found SFR to be best of a bad bunch so have just gone back to them for my internet... oit's not too late to change my mind though. DOes anyone have any experience of Free that can give insight?

I got an email from band and they will have even cheaper rates!

Tried all day yesterday but their site had glitches like unpopulated drop down menus (when you finally got into the sign up stage) and these rendered completion of the contract impossible. By close of play last night they were saying the site is saturated and it's status quo this morning. Hang in there.....

Thanks for that, will have a look at it immediately!


I know they do phone unlimited uk calls and internet and they seem the cheapest on the market at the moment for around 36 euros but I cannot work out from the web site if the calls are VoiP. Does anyone know?

I think it's an excellent move, and the others will no doubt have to realign their prices. It can only be beneficial to the consumer. I'm going to wait to see what happens. I certainly don't want to be locked into a 2-yr contract again though, and I don't see why I should pay the earth sans engagement which is what the others currently offer.

Thanks James. I'll look into that.

Don't stampede folk, remember when Virgin and others tried similar in the UK and the established companies pushed tariffs down and so on...

They do that too June

May be interested once it is up and running - but I'd like a package of internet and mobile.