Can France’s Free keep its wireless revolution going?

Originally posted on Gigaom:

The first official casualty reports emerged this week in Free Mobile’s price war against Frances’ mobile powers that be. France Telecom’s(s fte) Orange reported a 615,000 subscriber loss, or 2.3 percent of its total customers. People are flocking in droves to Free’s ultra cheap voice and data plans, but there are also signs that the upstart operator will have trouble keeping its wireless French Revolution raging.

FT reported another interesting metric in its first quarter earnings. While the flight to Free is pressuring its profits, revenues and margins, Free’s owner Iliad is also making a substantial contribution to Orange’s wholesale roaming business. Iliad has only built a limited 3G network of its own, so to fill in the gaps it relies on an MVNO agreement with Orange. Orange originally expected its roaming agreement with Iliad to bring €1 billion (U.S. $1.3 billion) over five years. Now Orange expects to…

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