In 2021, Bouygues Telecom acquired one of France’s biggest MVNOs from banking group Crédit Mutuel. A year later, its new subdidiary is taking shape and the outlook is bright.
By Isabelle Godar
In January 2021, Bouygues Telecom acquired EIT (Euro Information Telecom), France’s leading Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) and 5th ranked mobile carrier and then turned it into a subsidiary under the name BTBD (Bouygues Telecom Business Distribution). BTBD has two million mobile customers under the Crédit Mutuel Mobile, CIC Mobile, NRJ Mobile, Auchan Telecom and Cdiscount Mobile brand licences.
In addition to the acquisition, Bouygues Telecom and Crédit Mutuel also signed a deal to distribute Bouygues Telecom’s products and services throughout 4,500 CIC and Crédit Mutuel bank branches. The aim was to add two million mobile customers to Bouygues Telecom’s customer base, strengthen its presence nationwide, capitalise on the close relations between banking advisors and their customers and grow sales in mobile, fibre and on the B2B¹ segment.
getting closer to customeRS
Since mid-November, Bouygues Telecom’s mobile and fixed products and services have been available in CIC and Crédit Mutuel’s 4,500 local bank branches with their 25,000 banking advisors. These offers replace those of CIC Mobile and Crédit Mutuel Mobile. “This new distribution channel will bring us even closer to our customers and prospects. It means there are now 15 million people less than 5km from a Bouygues Telecom sales outlet, equivalent to over 20% of the French population”, says Aurélie Stock-Poeuf, Chair of BTBD. “The network is also very dense in PIN² zones, where the battle for fibre will be fought in the coming years. People who go into banks, who are more likely to live in rural areas, be less tech-savvy and professional people, are a good complement to our traditional clientele ”.
There are now 15 million people less than 5km from a Bouygues Telecom sales outlet, equivalent to over 20% of the French population
Chair of BTBD
In addition to seeking out new revenue streams, we want to respond to all the property-related needs of our customers
Manager of crédit Mutuel’s dijon colombière branch
a trust-based model
“When CIC and Crédit Mutuel customers are asked why they choose a given product, 60% say it was their banker who recommended it,” points out Aurélie Stock-Poeuf.
This highlights the relation of trust that exists between customers and their bank. In the last few years, banks have diversified to effer expertise in insurance, property investment, burglar alarms and mobile telephony. “In addition to seeking out new revenue streams, we want to respond to all the property-related needs of our customers,” explains Laurent Jover, Manager of Crédit Mutuel’s Dijon Colombière branch. The partnership with Bouygues Telecom will also give us a presence on the home internet market”. Aurélie Stock-Poeuf adds: “Banks will now be able to offer their costumers fixes internet services at the most appropriate moment in their relations”. This relationship based on trust and proximity is made possible by a very specific organizational model. Crédit Mutuel customers are often shareholders in the bank. “By sitting on the Board of Directors and Supervisory board, our customers play a role in the decision-making process of their local branches”, says Laurent Jover.
Crédit Mutuel is also a leader on the B2B segment, particularly among SMEs, tradespeople and local businesses, all of whom are strategic priorities for Bouygues Telecom. Over 30% of businesses in France are Crédit Mutuel/CIC customers. A commercial strategy for Bouygues Telecom Entreprises is already in place, with pilot schemes being tested in several branches. Crédit Mutuel/CIC also supports the not-for-profit sector. “Crédit Mutuel has close links with the not-for-profit sector and local authorities and our customers often provide a bridge between the two,” says Laurent Jover. “For example, the Dijon Colombière branch supports annual events such as the graphic novel fair in Longvic and the “American Days” event in Fenay”.
In addition, BTBD is still developing its brand licences (NRJ Mobile, Auchan Telecom and Cdiscount Mobile) through partnerships, and plans are underway to reate more. “Brand licences are an agile and incexpensive way to gain customers that we wouldn’t have attracted as Bouygues Telecom alone”, explains Aurélie Stock-Poeuf.
Crédit Mutuel has close links with the not-for-profit sector and local authorities and our customers often provide a bridge between the two.
Manager of crédit Mutuel’s dijon colombière branch
We wanted to be able to welcome these new users without impacting the network quality experienced by our customers
Head of Mobile programmes at Bouygues Telecom
UN RESEAU COMMUN
Since the start of 2021, Bouygues Telecom has migrated more than a million EIT customers towards its mobile network. “As a fully-fledged MVNO3, EIT had its own core network [a network infrastructure giving access to voice and data services and other options, Ed.note] while also using the networks of the incumbents, with 1.1 million customers at SFR, 500,000 at Orange and the same amount at Bouygues Telecom,” says landry Andrea, Project manager at Bouygues Telecom’s Networks division. There were only 3,000 cancellations (a church4 rate of only 0,0%) following this migration. ” We opted for a gradual, homogeneous transition, adjusting network capacity as when necessary,” explains Céline Jonca, Head of Mobile programmes at Bouygues Telecom. “We wanted to be able to welcome these new users without impacting the network quality experienced by our customers”. BTBD is now ready for takeoff!
1. Business to business: commercial activities between two businesses. In this case, business between Bouygues Telecom and its business customers.
2. Public Initiative Networks: very-high-speed fibre-optic networks developed by local authorities.
3. Mobile Virtual Network Operators: an operator that does not own its own network infrastructure but wih acquires bulk access to mobile network operator networks at wholesale rates.
4. Churn: attrition, loss of customers or subscribers.
5. Voice over LTE: a high-speed wireless communication standard using 4G.