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Free Mobile: what is known about the investigation of the DGCCRF

May 4 category:High Tech
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Free Mobile: what is known about the investigation of the DGCCRF

The flow of 3G offered by Free Mobile, roaming on the Orange network is charged.

Free Mobile

The Paris headquarters of Free, Madeleine, was raided last week by the direction of Fraud, the DGCCRF, as part of an investigation into possible fraud clamping 3G speeds. The mobile network flow problem recurs Free since the launch of the operator in early 2012. In particular, he was pinned by the UFC-Que Choisir early 2013, following an audit which found that the rates of Free Mobile were below average

Clamping roaming?

This study also showed the UFC that the association had called an "anomaly", namely a quality inversely proportional service roaming rate. Which posed, according to its president Alain Bazot, "the issue of traffic management", especially on the video stream, and tended to prove that "Free Mobile acts to discourage consumption data to avoid paying an Orange too much data. " Free denounced the results of the study.

Since the performance of the fourth operator roaming are still lower than those of Orange, on the same network, according to a test conducted in March and published by Challenges. The magazine was then interviewed a technician who explains that it is quite possible technically maintain flow at a level that is acceptable without being optimum, by not activating certain features that accelerate the flow rates. But in this case, it is not strictly speaking of "clamping". However, for Freenews, Free Mobile stifle flows voluntarily in the case file downloads with certain extensions.

In May, Univers Freebox was also echoed a concern tumble flow in several cities since the beginning of the year. The latest measures are those of DegroupTest, which also lead to a misclassification of Free Mobile.

These suspicions are also fed because Free has already been sentenced in February 2012 to deceptive marketing practices, having clamped flows on its ADSL network for non-unbundled customers. He was then sentenced to a fine of € 100,000. The investigation was conducted by the DGCCRF, which had been seized by the UFC-Que Choisir.

Once again, the investigation of the DGCCRF was initiated by a complaint from the association, filed on January 16 to high court says La Tribune, which states that "ten agents services Bercy judicial police officers came to seize documents, paper and digital "in the premises of the telecom operator.

Dumping suspicions on packages two euros

The Tribune also cites a source close formally denies that the investigation relates to the package € 2 Free, hypothesis raised by Univers Freebox and Les Echos. The DGCCRF could indeed have also investigate a loss on the sale package two euros of Free Mobile, which offers two hours of calling and unlimited SMS, and even zero cost euro for Freebox subscribers.

Xavier Niel is not clear on the profitability of package two euros. On the one hand, it justifies the price by saying that "the voice and SMS are zero" is the data that costs money. On the other, in an interview with France Info, he said "win or lose a few cents depending on consumption."

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