Mobile Phone Prices Challenged by New Entrant in France

Blog, Disruption, Roland Renner

Exciting changes are happening in the pricing for mobile phone services and the direction is down.

The biggest noise is coming from France where “Free” launched a service for 20 Euros per month  – a shocking challenge to the market leaders that has France abuzz and is getting air time on French CBC radio here.

Working out the details and trying to compare it to prices in Canada is difficult.  Anyone who has tried to compare the offerings of our own mobile service providers will recall quickly getting bogged down in a very frustrating level of detail.

You get unlimited calls, text, 3GB of data, free international calls to many (not all) countries.  There is no long term contract but you have to buy a phone or get your existing one unlocked.  It’s 3G , not LTE.  There are no stores or boutiques and no advertising budget.  (That is probably a stretch since the company already has a disruptive foothold in the ISP business.)  You buy on-line.

You will find the details of the “Free” service offerings in English here.

Our major carriers each have a bargain brand with limited features and the new entrants, Wind and Mobilicity, are vying for market share.  Rogers recently offered a discounted package on its main brand.  But many of us suspect that there is a lot more room for prices to fall.  One indicator is mobile market penetration in developing countries.  The industry can deliver 80% – 100% market penetration in those countries and customers there are not paying the same prices as we are.

Maybe more is coming.