In respect to mobile phones, newcomers in Paris and France are used to subscriptions to 2-year contracts with a specific mobile phone operator (AT&T, Vodafone, 3, Orange, etc…) in order to use mobile phone plan. This is the common practice in the USA, Canada, Australia and UK.
The principle is that you can get a last-gen smartphone from the operator for much less than its retail price, but you are locked/tied to that operator for the set period of time during which you pay a lease on the mobile phone and the monthly plan you chose.
In France, it’s a bit different. Contract-free offers are beginning to replace the common 1-year or 2-year contracts offers. Here, the principle is you buy your smartphone at the retail price. It is hence unlocked and then you get a contract-free mobile plan from any operator. This means you can change your mobile operator anytime you want without having to pay any fines, as it will be the case if you subscribed a 2-year contract.
Almost every French mobile operator have those contract-free offers and the 2 best offers are by Free Mobile and B&You.
Free Mobile has 2 contract-free offers:
- 2€/month for: 1 hour to French landlines and mobiles + 60 SMS in France
- 19,99€/month for : Unlimited calls to French landlines & mobiles + Unlimited SMS & MMS to French numbers + Unlimited WiFi access to Free hotspots + Unlimited calls to landlines in Europe + Unlimited calls to landlines & mobiles to USA & Canada + a fair use of 3Gb for mobile internet.
B&You (from Bouygues Telecom) also has 2 contract-free offers:
- 9.99€/month for: 2 hours to French landlines & mobiles + unlimited SMS, MMS in France + 20Mb for mobile internet
- 19,99€/month for : Unlimited calls to French landlines & mobiles + Unlimited SMS & MMS to French numbers + Unlimited WiFi access to Bouygues Telecom hotspots + Unlimited calls to landlines in Europe + Unlimited calls to landlines & mobiles to USA & Canada + a fair use of 3Gb for mobile internet.