Starting on Nov. 28, SFR will begin launching its commercial LTE services in Lyon, including a range of compatible devices. The carrier also announced it is offering a shared data package, called the “MultiSurf” package.
According to Mobile Europe, the carrier also plans on having 60 percent of the population covered with its Dual Carrier HSPA (DC-HSPA) by the end of 2012, which began rolling out in late 2011. SFR also introduced new tariff packages for its DC-HSPA network, offering 2 GB, 4 GB and 6 GB of monthly data usage along with free Wi-Fi. The new MultiSurf package features two SIMs that share a data allowance, so a user can, for example, use one for a smartphone and the other for a tablet under the same data package.
Yankee Group Research VP Declan Lonergan comments
“The most interesting feature of SFR’s announcement is the MultiSurf price plan. Connecting multiple devices to the mobile network via shared data plans represents an enormous opportunity for mobile network operators. In the U.S., AT&T and Verizon have led the way with this type of offer, and their European counterparts are beginning to launch similar plans. Though customer adoption of shared data allowances across multiple connected devices will result in ARPU-dilution, there will be some important benefits for operators. The most important of these is the potential for reduced customer churn and growth in top line revenues. Customers will respond favorably to data sharing and we expect 2013 to be the year of shared data plans in Europe.”
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