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Free – in 2020 #23 (-1)

Parent Company: Iliad Group

Brand Value 2020: $2,288m (US$)

Change from 2019: -12%

Headquarter City: Paris

Category: Telecom Provider

Year Formed: 1999

Free, approaching its 20th anniversary, is still seen as a challenger brand in a highly competitive field. It entered the category in 1999 with its famous Free Box, and really started shaking things up in 2012 when it launched mobile phone services, leading other providers to review their packages and launch lower-cost networks. Free has 13.7 million mobile subscribers and 6.5 million broadband customers. The brand competed primarily on price in its early days but now differentiates itself based on innovation. Iliad Group CEO Thomas Reynaud was appointed in May 2018, and Free has since adjusted its broadband offering to a range of high-profile promotions. There have been a number of announcements under Reynaud’s leadership in 2019, and Free has become France’s No. 1 fiber operator. It also now offers users upload speeds of 600 Mbps and says it is the first and only company to offer this in France. Free’s tagline is “Merci Free” or “Thank you, Free.”