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Orange leads way with lower deals

The company is the first to bite the bullet and slash prices in the wake of Free Mobile’s arrival

ORANGE has been the first of the large mobile operators to lower its prices in response to the arrival of Free on the market.

The firm has lowered the price of its “Sosh” packages, “low-cost” options available only over the internet, from €19.90 to €9.90 for the entry level version and from €39.90 to €24.90 for the top, “unlimited” one.

Bouygues says it will unveil a new range of packages next week under its similar B&You brand, while SFR is looking at adjusting its “Red” packages.

Free boss Xavier Niel said on BFM TV that he had expected such a riposte. “They did the same thing with broadband,” he said [referring to Free’s entry into the market with its famous all-inclusive €29.99 package for broadband, landline and TV]. “The method is simple – you start to lower prices on the budget brands and then realise that the whole house is burning down so lower prices all round.”

So far only Orange has said it is considering adapting is standard, “Origami”, package. SFR boss Franck Cadoret has insisted that “price is not everything”, for example, their clients appreciate their large network of shops for face to face advice, he said.

Bouygues boss Didier Casas also stressed the importance of “customer service, a physical presence”, and said Niel’s grandstanding, which included comparing Free’s arrival to the Normandy landings, was “unacceptable”.

Aaron Amat fotolia.com

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