France’s mobile phone bills among the lowest in the world with an average of € 15 per month

[Article updated October 27 at 16:30]

French mobile phone bills are among the lowest in the world, averaging just under € 15 (€ 14.60) per month.

It depends The figures published by the regulator of the Electronic Communications Regulatory Authority (Arcep). The regulator confirmed to The Connexion that French prices are among the cheapest in the world.

French mobile tariffs are on average – prices may vary depending on the offer – three times lower than German bills and up to five times lower than American bills.

They are also less than half the price of French fixed telephone and internet bills, which average € 36.60.

Media examining the numbers point to a turning point 10 years ago, when mobile operator Free won the fourth mobile phone license in France, breaking what had become a cozy triopoly between Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom.

Back then, mobile phone bills averaged $ 40 per month and could fluctuate easily, with steep charges for exceeding minute limits or data usage.

Free’s main offer – € 19.99 per month for unlimited 3G phone calls and three gigabytes of data – has hit established operators hard.

Even more astonishing at the time was their lowest “first-in” rate of € 2 per month for two hours of unlimited phone calls and texts.

In another upset at the facility, the company did not tie tariffs to particular mobile phones, instead encouraging customers to buy their phones directly and not lock the device with an operator.

Both tariffs have remained at the heart of the Free offer, although they have evolved over time – the € 2 offer now covers calls made in other EU countries and the € 19 offer, 99 € is now for 5G and 150 gigabytes.

All the other mobile telephone operators were quick to react and their low-cost offers designed to deal with Free now represent at least a quarter of their accounts.

The low cost brand of Orange is called Sosh, that of SFR is called Red and that of Bouygues Telecom is called B & You.

Operators initially thought they would be adopted primarily by younger customers and were surprised by their universal appeal.

The financial newspaper Les Echos notes that, ironically, it is now Free which is trying to move upmarket, having just launched an offer linked to a linked smartphone, in order to strengthen the more profitable contracts that remain with its competitors.

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