• France's news in English
New Bouygues offer heats up 4G price war
France's Bouygues Telecom launched a new 4G offer on Monday, intensifying the price war in France between telecoms giants. Photo: Andrew Cowie/AFP

New Bouygues offer heats up 4G price war

Dan MacGuill · 9 Dec 2013, 10:32

Published: 09 Dec 2013 10:32 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

France was well and truly in the grip of a price war over fourth generation (4G) internet service with French Telecoms giant Bouygues announcing a new offer on Monday just a week after rivals Free stole a charge on the market with its own offer.

Bouygues' offer of ultra high-speed 4G internet at no extra cost for its existing 3G customers may yet provoke more offers from France's other telecoms giants like orange and SFR  in the run up to Christmas.

“From today, Bouygues Telecom is democratizing 4G by making the largest 4G network in France even more accessible,” the company said in a statement.

“Customers who have signed up for [our 3G services] will automatically benefit from 4G, without any additional cost or new commitment,” the statement added.

A spokesperson from Bouygues confirmed to The Local on Monday that the offer was also open to new subscribers as of Monday, although it is not yet available for anyone with one of Bouygues’ no-contract, low-cost smartphones B&You.

Monday’s announcement, which offers ultra high-speed mobile internet for €30 a month, intensifies an all-out price war among French mobile providers, after budget outfit Free took the initiative last week, announcing free 4G as part of its standard, €20 package.

Shortly after Free's announcement last week France’s Consumer Affairs Minister Benoit Hamon “invited customers to check the maps showing the coverage before making their choice.”

Hamon and Fluer Pellerin, the minister for small businesses also sent out a reminder that mobile companies were required to offer clear information to customers about the extent of their coverage.

Free's owner Xavier Niel also said on Tuesday it would provide even more data as part of is standard 20 euro ($27) per month package.

The announcement hit the share price of its competitors including Bouygues.

Shares in Orange dropped 3.0 percent 9.25 euros. Bouygues fell 3.1 percent to 26.86 euros. SFR-owner Vivendi slid 2.3 percent to 18.19 euros.

Consumers will be faced with a choice between Free’s lower prices and Bouygues’ extensive 4G network – which covers 63 percent of the country since its launch in October.

4G is a nickname for the fourth generation of mobile phone communications technology, whose main advantage to the average consumer is ultra-fast data processing.

With their 4G networks, Orange, SFR, Bouygues and Free allow users to download music and files from the internet on to their smartphones up to 10 times faster than the current standard with 3G.

That increase in speed also enables high-definition video streaming and online gaming, as well as smoother teleconferencing for businesses.

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

Being half French, half British is means you get asked a lot of questions (and some of them can be a little annoying.)

Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
A Prophet. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Looking for something to watch?

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two
Rust and Bone. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

The newest French films you need to see before you die (or alternatively when you get some spare time).

Election Watch
Presidential hopeful reckons a pain au chocolat is 10 cents

So France happily takes the pastry out of him.

French ministry of defence officials die in plane crash
Screengrab: eddydeg/Twitter

The French Ministry of Defence officials were killed on Monday when a light aircraft went down on the island of Malta.

Revealed: The ten most stolen cars in France
A Smart car in Paris. Photo: JR_Paris/Flickr

Thieves in France are getting a taste for luxury cars, it seems.

Analysis - France migrant crisis
Migrant crisis won't end with Calais 'Jungle' closure
All Photos: AFP

The Jungle camp may be being cleared but this won't be the end of the migrant crisis in France.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 'to sell their French chateau'
All photos: AFP

Want to live where Brangelina got married?

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available