Monday, July 10, 2006

JupiterResearch: Will FREE become a MVNO?

Thomas Husson at JupiterResearch posts that "there are rumors that Free (ILIAD), the French ISP, could launch a MVNO." Husson writes:

Not really surprising given the fact that all stakeholders are contemplating the issue and that it would obviously make sense for an alternative operator promoting a multi-play strategy. Contrary to many players, they know about IP and telephony...The only thing is that being an MVNO implies to have a good marketing know-how and a customer care center. Let's say it is not their competitive advantage (see my previous post on my freebox experience here)...Yes, but they could benefit from their national WIMAX license (Free was clever in acquiring Altitude Telecom before the auction was conduted by the regulatory body. By the way the other licenses will be attributed today by the ARCEP) say some insiders. That's really great, but I am still waiting for a Wimax phone and if I am lucky, I may see one in 2008!
Husson concludes with:
License agreements with mobile operators such as those signed by M6 and Fnac (a retailer launching an interesting offer to its loyal customer base) with Orange are less risky when voice calls is not your core business...Interestingly, both M6 and Fnac had launched an ISP a few years ago...