French Entrepreneur Disrupts Mobile Phone Market, Drives Prices Down

Xavier Niel, a french entrepreneur who is inspired by Steve Jobs, is disrupting the mobile phone market in France with low prices that other carriers don’t offer. With the big carriers mainly in control, it’s rather hard to regulate the prices and there’s very little government intervention to do so.

At least in the U.S., the only intervention we see from the government and mobile carriers is when it comes to a merger (AT&T and T-Mobile which flopped) or early termination fees.

Anyways, Xavier got his start with a set-top box called Freeview which combined the big three home necessities, Internet, television, and telephone. That was back in 2002 and now he is taking charge with mobile phones at pretty fantastic prices.

Via Yahoo News:

“Now Niel is taking on mobile phones, offering unlimited calls, messaging and up to three gigabytes of data for 19.99 euros ($26) per month. Another package offers 60 minutes of calls and 60 text messages for two euros per month.”

Getting prices like that is unheard of in the states. The best you can get in regards to unlimited is $55 per month through Virgin Mobile.

“Gartner’s research shows French consumers pay the most in western Europe for mobile phone services, an average of 392 euros per year, compared with 274 euros in Britain and only 181 euros in Germany.”

“Free’s website crashed as orders flooded in after the launch. The company has not announced how many users have signed up but Niel said on Friday that subscription rates were “above our expectations”.