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“We do not pass on all of our cost increases in our prices,” assures the general director of Bouygues Telecom

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In the midst of the publication of third quarter corporate results, Benoît Torloting, general manager of Bouygues Telecom, reacts to the telecom operator’s figures at franceinfo.

Bouygues Telecom is doing well. Two figures have increased since the start of the year, the number of mobile customers, which stands at 15.4 million, and that of fiber subscribers, at 3.4 million. The company’s turnover also increased by 3% in one year. Benoît Torloting, general manager of Bouygues Telecom, answers questions from franceinfo.

franceinfo: How do we position ourselves in relation to a historic juggernaut like Orange, in relation to Free and in relation to SFR? What is Bouygues Telecom’s strategy?

Benoît Torloting: What we try to do is first of all to deliver top-notch quality of service, at very competitive prices and by adding a human commitment which is expressed by customer proximity which makes the difference. also compared to our competitors. To illustrate the first aspect of quality, we are very happy because Arcep, the telecoms regulatory authority which, every year, carries out a quality of service survey on mobile networks, has just published its 2023 edition. And for the 10th consecutive year, Bouygues Telecom is the second best network in terms of quality of service on the mobile side.

In this ranking, you are neck and neck with Orange on mobile Internet in dense areas, but in fourth position in rural areas. Which means that in 75% of cases, you can display web pages in less than ten seconds. What are you doing to improve coverage and throughput in rural areas?

Our mobile strategy is to continue to invest heavily in rural areas and in dense areas for two things. First, increase coverage on new sites. Over the past three years, we have had 5,000 new Bouygues Telecom sites in the country for customers. Then, we also want to improve what we call the ability to flow mobile traffic in a fluid manner. This traffic increases each year by 15 to 20%. Each year, we invest 25% of our turnover in the mobile part and in the fiber part to improve this quality of service.

You have increasing revenues for mobile and fixed subscribers, €19.80 on average per month per mobile customer, €30.90 per month per fixed customer on average. We all know there is inflation. Have you increased your prices to keep up with cost increases?

Like all businesses, we are experiencing inflation in our costs. In particular the costs of energy, personnel and components in our boxes. We had to adjust our prices, but we do not reflect all of our cost increases in our prices. Above all, we pay close attention to always having very competitive prices and having a really wide range of prices for customers to choose from, so that there is somewhere for all budgets, both in mobile and in landline. .

How much have your prices increased on average then?

Prices increase by 1 to 2 euros depending on the types of offers. So, effectively, it’s much less than an increase in cost. But at the same time, we offer really low-cost offers. For example, we have just launched a new range of mobile plans. We offer families a package of 5 euros for five gigabytes and this offer is very competitive in the current market.

There is also the business market. Two of your competitors, Orange and SFR, are in a good position. Is this market a challenge for you?

This is a real area of ​​development for Bouygues Telecom. We are present today in the business market, largely in the mobile part and more and more in the fiber part since indeed, this transition to fiber is a real moment for companies, to reposition themselves and choose a new operator. Bouygues Télécom is taking good positions today in this transition to fiber, because we have deployed our own fiber network. We can offer companies dedicated fiber to support them in this move towards digital. We also offer to support them in the move towards the cloud or cybersecurity. In this aspect, we are a challenger, but an innovative challenger and close to our customers in the support part to have great service proposals compared to what the leaders are doing today in this market.

Our colleagues from La Tribune affirm that teams from Altice, the owner of SFR, approached Free and Bouygues to discuss a possible merger. Can you confirm this for us?

We must understand that the telecoms market in France and French players are absolutely not in the same situation as seven or eight years ago, when there were many discussions about mergers. The actors were in a complicated financial situation at the time, they had a lot of investments ahead of them and they were wondering how they were going to do it. Since then, all the players, in particular Bouygues Télécom, have found our way into the market. We have resumed the pace of growth, we have found enough to finance our investments in 5G, in fiber, so the market is very different. There is also the section on competition rules. Today, we think that given what these competition rules are at the European level, at the French level, there is no room for a merger in France, for a transition from 4 to 3 operators. We think that a priori this is not possible for the competition authorities.



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