SFR chief says customers beginning to return after Free launch

11 Apr 2012

Jean-Bernard Levy, the chief executive of Vivendi, has said that customers are beginning to return to the group’s French mobile subsidiary SFR after initial losses following the launch of low-cost rival Free Mobile in January. Levy, who has been acting as SFR’s interim CEO since the recent departure of Frank Esser, told French newspaper Le Figaro that departures have slowed since mid-March and customers are now coming back. It has been estimated that more than 2.2 million users signed up for Free Mobile in the wake of its launch, attracted by offers including an unlimited calls package for less than EUR20 (USD26.2) per month. The new operator has been hit with congestion problems on its network, however, with reports that up to half of all calls were not connecting at peak times. Free Mobile’s owner Iliad is due to announce the operator’s end-March subscriber figures early next month.

France, Free Mobile (Iliad), SFR