Low-cost high-speed internet is a recent development in France as communications company Iliad popularized the service through their cost-effective packages making inexpensive broadband a reality for many. Iliad has their eyes set on doing the same thing again, only now for the mobile industry. The new service, called Free, centers on a €19.99 plan that includes unlimited domestic and international calling, text messages, and data.
Rates overall will be far less than competitors - over 50% less according to Free, which in time will undoubtedly force others to reduce their prices. The three main mobile operators in France are Orange, part of Télécom, SFR, which is owned by Vivendai, and Bouygues, and now Iliad's Free looks to be the fourth.
With the addition of Free to the market, there will be a greater availability of mobile data, as cheaper rates will put mobile internet browsing in the hands of many more people. 40% of mobile users in France own a smartphone and 6 million people already go online with their mobile device every day in France (Médiamétrie).
With cheaper rates, not only would the number of smartphone users likely increase but the amount of browsing people do on the smartphones will likely rise as well. By extension, more sum web traffic will be experienced throughout the country positioning an increased need for proper SEO and internet marketing for companies that want to maximize their online properties in this growing mobile market.
This potential is, in short, huge. With more consumers possessing smartphones, there are more opportunities for search engine optimization and social media integration into marketing campaigns. This is only compounded by the mobile commerce potential. More than 25% of mobile device users in the country have bought something from their mobile device (InMobi), and with more usage and traffic, French consumers are bound to expand this mobile shopping. As a result, companies in the French market want to optimize their sites and related content to direct this consumer traffic. French internet marketers, companies operating in France, and those international SEO firms that offer multilingual SEO, take notice - there is great mobile web potential on the horizon.