4th mobile license. "If you listen to the lobbyists you have understood nothing"

The internet operator Free is the only answer to the bidding of the state to acquire the fourth mobile license to market the state. Several other suitors, including the Bolloré Group, the cable operator Numericable, spent hand.

For Free, the stakes are high. His original contract, that of access to the Internet, becomes mature. The folly of growth in recent years to calm down. Gross margin in this market is considerable. Second in market share, behind Orange (France Telecom), Free must find new sources of growth. This is ongoing with the connection to the fiber optic part of its subscribers to let them enjoy the services of high-speed internet and inflate their average basket.

36.15 Gross Margin

After making a fortune in business Minitel, Xavier Niel became the thorn in oligopolies. His next challenge will be to come off the crowded mobile phone market. Orange, SFR and Bouygues share a lucrative market: investments needed to install networks are amortized and consumers are increasingly dependent mobilo. Even number portability, the transition from one to the other operators, MVNOs, operators using these virtual networks of incumbents and rising to 4% market share, or the falling rate of intermediation, the cost that operators charge when communicating from one of their subscribers to another network, do not worry beyond measure.


Bouygues, a lobbying concrete

Free Admission by against yes. For the reputation and the facts speak for the new entrant. On the internet it was he who was able to focus the market around its offer price of 29.90 euros base. Tomorrow, we can imagine it seeks to capitalize on its reservoir Internet customers to offer them quadruple play offers: internet, fixed and mobile telephone and television. This is all that the market is e ncore carrier and for a long time . 'uses mobiles multiplien t (smartphone, allow the payment instead of the credit card, wish to receive the TV channels ...)

Once it was clear that a fourth operator would enter the French market, the cartel of Three ( The TSF, as they are nicknamed, Everything but Free ) tried everything to delay its application. This section of the weekly Challenges returns on this story.

The various complaints from one or the other, especially by Bouygues also have delayed the arrival of two years. It's always taken it to. Present at Fouquet's on the night of the presidential election, Martin Bouygues has managed to take a stand Nicolas Sarkozy last September: "" I'm skeptical and reserved on the choice of a fourth operator. The lowest price is not necessarily the best. You have to see the quality of the applicants. "Said the president in a meeting with parliamentarians from his majority. Which resulted in a lot of concern here and there , therefore unfounded.

Ich bin your lobbyist

For his part, Free was not far behind. It is the firm Boury and associates (who has also been the board of SFR and Bouygues on other issues) that is returned task to convince parliamentarians to play the game from the opening of the mobile market in France, also strongly demanded by the European Union in the name of competition. This summer the operator has brought in its board Virginie Calmels, Director of Endemol. In town, Virginie Calmels is the companion of François-David Cravenne advisor Estrosi, Minister telecoms over the industry, handling the case of the fourth license. Free CEO Maxime Lombardini he was responsible for spreading the word, as a good evangelist.

0 4ème licence mobile. « Si tu écoutes les lobbys t’as rien compris »

Although Xavier Niel hesitates him either to wet his shirt.


In an interview with the weekly Le Poin t in September 2008, Xavier Niel promised to halve the mobile bill of French. It has long been known, promises only bind those who listen. The CEO of Illiad will he speak? We'll know next year.

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