The operator launched 5G at the price of 4G
Free Mobile became on 15 December the fourth French operator to launch commercial 5G services. Seven years after having frightened the French telecoms market by offering 4G at the price of 3G, Free Mobile is now launching 5G at the price of 4G.
New customers with a 5G compatible smartphone can subscribe to the 5G package at 20 EUR per month with 150 GB of data. For the same data volume, consumers must pay more than three times more at Orange or at SFR. Even Bouygues Telecom, the lowest price with its entry-level brand B & You, offers 130 GB of 5G data at 25 EUR per month.
For existing subscribers, 5G services are available at no additional cost and with unlimited 5G data. The price drops to 16 EUR per month for Freebox subscribers and even 10 EUR per month for the owners of the Freebox Pop.
The 5G network covers about 40% of the population and has good indoor reception thanks to the 5,255 active 700 MHz cell sites. Free Mobile also activated 220 cell sites equipped with 3.6 GHz frequencies to offer ultra-fast speeds in selected locations. Rival operators launched commercial 5G services in late November and early December using the 3.6 GHz band that allows them to offer lower coverage but higher speeds than the 700 MHz band.
Recently on October 1st, the French regulator ARCEP allocated the 3.4-3.8 GHz band with several obligations for the licensees.
More information about 5G launches in France and the 3.4-3.8 GHz auction here.