Bouygues Telecom Eliminates Roaming Costs for French Users with fring

By Peter Bernstein September 24, 2013

Just weeks ago, Frisco, TX-based GENBAND, a provider of multimedia and cloud communications solutions made an important strategic acquisition when it bought the fring OTT mobile IP communications service. TMC CEO Rich Tehrani noted at the time that the move was important because it enables GENBAND to help existing mobile service providers (MSPs) stem the tide of Over-the-Top (OTT) providers’ incursion into markets that MSPs covet for their growth going forward. As Rich stated, the acquisition enables GENBAND to “Make carriers sexy.”

It did not take long for the fring acquisition to bear fruit. French operator Bouygues Telecom has selected the fring Over the Top (OTT) service to provide Bouygues customers with free phone calls and SMS on Wi-Fi when they are travel abroad.  

Boosting the popularity of Bouygues Telecom’s popular World & YOU service

This summer Bouygues Telecom launched its World & YOU service for their B&YOU brand, and it struck a popular chord with customers who were able to enjoy free calls and SMSs while abroad.

“Our customers expect high quality, low cost mobile service which, thanks to the fring service, we can now extend beyond local French cellular coverage, allowing subscribers to enjoy international communication as if they were calling from within France,” said Benoît Torloting, Head of digital & B&YOU at Bouygues Telecom. “Leveraging the fring OTT solution, we eliminate cellular network roaming charges and deliver our commitment to quality-cost competitive advantage even when our customers are travelling worldwide.” Benoît Torloting continued, “Our World & YOU launch was a great success, with an increase in new users and substantial interest from the French market.”

“This successful offering with Bouygues Telecom demonstrates market demand for the fring Telco OTT solution, which enables telecom operators to provide their subscribers with cost-saving communications, a rich user experience and reduced churn to independent applications,” said Roy Timor-Rousso, former CEO of fring and current senior executive in GENBAND’s Multimedia Business Unit. “Leveraging our extensive experience in mobile applications and telco-grade cloud network, we were able to provide Bouygues Telecom with a complete solution - with rapid time-to-market within weeks of defining their unique needs.”

This is a major testimonial for fring. Bouygues Telecom is a full-service carrier (mobile, fixed, TV, Internet and cloud computing), serving its 11.3 million mobile and 1.9 million fixed broadband customers, which include more than 1.5 million professional and corporate clients and more than 1.6 million B&YOU clients. Its mobile network covers 99 percent of the French population with 2G, 96 percent with 3G+ up to 7,2 Mbit/s and 60 percent with H+ up to 42 Mbit/s.  The company is also deploying a nationwide 4G network covering over 100 cities, bringing 40 percent of the French population access to 4G from October 2013.

The fring service which launched in 2006 as a mobile voice-over-internet communication solution has evolved to be a popular consumer application because of its multi-modal and easy-to-use functionality which includes:

  • Peer-to-peer voice and video calls
  • Chat
  • Conferencing
  • Telephony services such as outgoing and incoming calls and SMS.

The fring service is available on all major smartphones and tablets, on any mobile service provider, and any mobile internet connection (3G/4G, Wi-Fi, GPRS, EDGE), and has tens of millions of users in more than 200 countries—adding more than a million new smartphone users every month.

What is significant is that In 2012 the fring solution added a white-label Telecom OTT offering for mobile and landline carriers, enterprise and ISPs. It is a capability that not only makes carriers sexy but gives them the arms they need to successfully compete against the OTTs, while also leveraging the advantages they have regarding customer intimacy (i.e., billing) and the quality of the connection. As a result it enables incumbents to not just compete but offer real differentiated value. In this case it means easy and inexpensive access when customers are far from home.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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