The basic idea behind the company is that it can radically reduce mobile costs by offloading traffic over Wi-Fi where possible. It’s a simple, audacious concept that’s technically hard to execute — but so far it seems to have been pretty successful, with the business opening up a network of 4 million hotspots around big French cities in April and putting on a record 2.6 million subscribers in its first quarter of operations.
From Thursday, users of its “Sosh” branded mobile internet services can now get 3GB of data each month for €19.90 — that’s $24.80 — Compared to the initial offers unveiled in September 2011, the price drop is impressive: Sosh then proposed 1GB and unlimited for €39.90. It is now offering three times more data for less than 37 percent of the original price. […] Meanwhile, Sosh will stop selling its package at €14.90 (2 hours of calls and 1GB) and replace it with a subscription to €19.90 euros including unlimited calls 24 hours a day, becoming the new standard in the market, and 2 GB of data, which will be better able to compete with Free Mobile package.
The irony is that Orange is, in part, responsible for Free’s rise. The two companies have an agreement that lets Free buy airtime on Orange’s 3G network, which has caused consternation at the France Telecom-owned business. Statistics suggest that around 88 percent of Free.fr traffic is going across Orange towers and just 12 percent of us