Mobile operator Orange has reacted to the impact of Free Mobile’s launch stating that in the first 48 hours following 10 January 2012, Orange recorded a substantial increase in RIO requests, (the identity codes required to request mobile number). These peaked at over 150,000 requests in a single day during this initial period but have now decreased tenfold. As at 15 February 2012, the Orange mobile subscriber base had declined by 201,000 subscribers, representing around 0.7 per cent of its total mobile customer base in France, which, at 31 December 2011, had reached just over 27 million subscribers. Orange’s early commercial counter-attack enabled it to respond rapidly by adapting tariffs for its low-cost brand Sosh, launched in September for this purpose, and by adjusting the Orange Open quadruple play offer. The new tariffs for Sosh respond to the new market environment, with three commitment-free SIM only offers from US$ 1.2 (2 hours voice, unlimited SMS / MMS / WiFi) to US$ 33 (100 per cent unlimited). As per the company statement, they helped accelerate the acquisition of new customers and had attracted a total of 90,000 Sosh subscribers as at 15 February 2012. In parallel, the Orange Open range was enriched and reached a total of 1.4 million subscribers as at 15 February 2012. Finally, the Origami range also contributed a significant share of new additions over the period. Lastly, ever pragmatic, Orange signed a 2G and 3G roaming contract with Free mobile last March. This contract will generate additional revenue for the Group linked to the volume of traffic that, at the time of signing, was estimated to represent US$ 1.3 billion over a six-year period. The traffic generated by Free mobile subscribers could be substantially higher than expected without this having a negative impact on the quality of service for Orange customers.
Source: Wireless Federation.