4th mobile license. "If you obey the lobbies you have nothing understood"

The Internet operator Free is the only answer to the state's call tenders to acquire the fourth mobile license to market by the State. Several other suitors, including the Bolloré group, the cable operator Numericable, spent hand.

For Free, the stakes are high. His initial contract, that of internet access, becomes mature. The growth of recent years of madness subsides. Its gross margin in this market is considerable. Second in market share, behind Orange (France Telecom), Free must find growth. This is in progress with the connection to the optical fiber of part of its subscribers to let them enjoy the services of broadband and internet inflate their average basket.

36.15 Gross Margin

After making a fortune in the business of Minitel, Xavier Niel became the thorn in oligopolies. His next challenge will be its place in the crowded mobile phone market. Orange, SFR and Bouygues share a lucrative market: the investment needed for the installation of networks are amortized and consumers are increasingly mobilo dependent. Even number portability, the transition from one to the other operators, MVNOs, these virtual operators using the networks of incumbent operators and rising to 4% market share, or the decline in tariff 'intermediation costs that operators charge when communicating from one of their subscribers to another network, do not care beyond measure.


Bouygues, a lobbying concrete

The entrance to Free by cons yes. For reputation, and the facts speak for the new entrant. On the internet, it was he who was able to focus the market around its base price offer 29.90 euros. Tomorrow, we can imagine that it seeks to capitalize on its reservoir of internet customers for their offer 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 . The uses of mobile is multiplien t (smartphone, allow payment instead of the credit card, réceptionnant TV channels ...)

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

The various complaints from one or the other, especially Bouygues also have delayed the arrival of two years. It is always taken to this. Present at Fouquet's on the night of the presidential election, Martin Bouygues has managed to take a stand Nicolas Sarkozy last September: "" I am 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 at a meeting with parliamentary majority. Which caused a lot of concern here and there , thus unfounded.

Ich bin tone lobbyist

For his part, Free was not outdone. It is the firm Boury and associates (to be also the SFR and Bouygues Board on other issues) that is returned to the task convince parliamentarians to play the game of the opening of the mobile market in France, also strongly requested by the European Union in the name of competition. This summer the operator has brought in its board Virginie Calmels, Director of Endemol. In the city, Virginie Calmels is the companion of François-David Cravenne advisor Christian Estrosi, Minister of Telecom in addition to the industry, in charge of the fourth license folder. CEO of Free, Maxime Lombardini has been charged with her spread the word, in good evangelist.

YouTube Preview Image

Although Xavier Niel do not hesitate to wet her 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 engage only those who listen to them. The CEO of Illiad he will keep his word? We'll know in a year.

Bonus gift. Special Crétin.fr


  • email


  1. [...] Knows very likely carriers avoid new entrants into their markets. The next arrival of Free in mobile telecommunications has mounted. We also know the power they [...]

  2. [...] Condemned for illegal agreement, Orange, and Sfr Bouygyes have been constantly fighting to delay the possible arrival of Free in mobile telephony. Multiplying legal remedies, and hose-traps, "the gang of three" was delayed for at least two years Free entry on the market. Two years of sales ... [...]