PARIS Jan 28 France Telecom will raise
the prices of some of its mobile offers in France when it
launches faster fourth-generation mobile networks later this
year, its chief financial officer told a newspaper.
Gervais Pellissier told Les Echos that the group had
increased prices by 6 to 10 pounds in Britain when its local
operator EE launched 4G late last year, and was working on
revamping its tariffs in France by April when 4G would be
switched on in 15 French cities.
"We are convinced that customers are willing to pay a small
premium as long as coverage and quality are a given," said
France Telecom's effort to claw back pricing power comes
after a tumultuous year in which new player Iliad's
Free Mobile took more than 5 percent market share with its
low-cost, no contract offers.
Vivendi's SFR, Bouygues Telecom and
France Telecom were all forced to lower their prices to compete,
which has sapped their profitability and cash generation. All
are hoping that the move to 4G, which offers mobile download
speeds of up to ten times faster than existing networks, will
help them blunt the appeal of Free Mobile.
France Telecom said in a statement on Monday that it was on
track to cover all of Paris with 4G by the end of the year.
(Reporting by Leila Abboud; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)