France’s third largest mobile operator by subscribers, Bouygues Telecom, reported revenues of EUR1.228 billion (USD1.799 billion) for the three months ending 30 September, up 5% year-on-year, much to the surprise of the market which had predicted a slowdown in revenue growth for the operator. Bouygues attributed the unexpected rise to what it called ‘favourable trends in customer usage’ which counteracted the effect of slower growth from new customers for the popular Neo contract and lower roaming revenues. At the end of September the operator had 8.923 million subscribers, of which 73.7%, or 6.577 million, were contract customers.
Bouygues Telecom also announced it plans to launch a 3G-plus mboile service in France on 19 November. The cellco’s deputy chief executive Emmanuel Forest told reporters ‘This is an important second network for us,’ adding that the new network aimed to cover 70% of the French population by the end of 2009. Bouygues Telecom had been asked by the regulator Arcep to make sure that its 3G service was available to at least 20% of the population by 30 November 2007.