A shake-up in mobile phone services in France as Xavier Niel, the billionaire founder of broadband provider Iliad, launched its long-awaited mobile service.
Iliad — which trades as Free — has unveiled aggressive offers that sharply undercut rival operators’ prices.
In a six year battle Iliad has had to fight off tough lobbying from the existing providers.
In the run-up to the launch, Niel had pledged to cut mobile prices by up to one-half, arguing that France Telecom, Vivendi’s SFR, and Bouygues Telecom were charging more than operators elsewhere in Europe.
Iliad’s arrival will transform France’s 21 billion-euro mobile market, which is mature and has few growth prospects since 63 out of 65 million residents already have mobiles.