Free Mobile, the Groupe Iliad-owned disruptor in the French mobile market, is offering a new tariff that includes roaming across Europe for €19.99.

The announcement comes a week after the European Commission announced plans to axe roaming charges by June 2017.

Free’s Pass Destination tariff is open to new and existing customers; subscribers to the operator’s Freebox broadband platform can subscribe to the new service for €15.99.

The new tariff includes unlimited calls and texts, plus 3G mobile internet.

Kester Mann, analyst at CCS Insight, called the move by Free “well-timed” in light of the EU’s plans to end roaming charges coupled with the upcoming holiday season.

Speaking to European Communications, Mann said: “Given the recent announcement from the EU regarding an end to roaming in 2017, this is a logical move. European operators will be forced to cut charges anyway and so getting in ahead of competitors in doing so is an easy way to position as a consumer-friendly provider.

“As a disruptive provider, Free had little revenue from roaming in the first place, so such a move is less risky than it would be for Orange, Bouygues or SFR. Free is in a similar position to 3 UK on that basis.

“Were Free to extend this offer to additional countries outside the EU, it would be a more generous – but also expensive - move.

“I fully expect plenty more European operators to include free roaming in tariffs going forward. 3 UK has already enjoyed success with Feel at Home, while iD from Carphone Warehouse offers it in selected tariffs.”

Free has over 10.5 million mobile subscribers and more than 15 percent share of France’s mobile market, as per the end of March.

Revenues rose 18.5 percent to €438 million in the first three months of the year after it added 420,000 customers.

In March, it unveiled a new triple-play offer featuring a 4K-ready set top box that runs Android TV.

Parent Groupe Iliad announced last month that it had entered into exclusive negotiations with Numericable-SFR with a view to purchasing a portfolio of assets from it.

It followed a bid from Altice, Numericable-SFR’s owner, for Bouygues Telecom. Bouygues rejected the offer.

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