FT network creaking under weight of Free Mobile users

16 Feb 2012

France Telecom (FT) Orange has issued a warning to new roaming partner Free Mobile that it will protect services for its own customers if the network becomes congested. Low-cost operator Free Mobile launched France’s fourth mobile network last month but, with its network rollout still continuing, it has agreed a roaming deal with FT to cover the rest of the country. French newspaper Les Echos has reported FT as saying that its network is handling 97% of Free Mobile’s total calls, with the incumbent complaining that the new operator is under-using its own infrastructure. Earlier this week Free Mobile came under fire from an industry body representing mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) for undercutting the wholesale prices it charges to resellers with its own low-cost packages for end users.

France, Free Mobile (Iliad), Orange Group