Before August 21, 2021, Orange subscribers could request the Femtocell for free , a small accessory that was connected to the box to better sensor the mobile network. This tool was then very relevant for subscribers living in areas poorly covered by the mobile network of the operator. But that was before.
The number 1 in telecoms has indeed announced the end of Femtocell. To justify its decision, it explains that it now covers 99% of the population in 4G and that a box improving the 3G connection has little interest.
Orange advises its subscribers to opt for the “Wi-Fi call” function of their smartphone. This feature allows you to use the internet (ADSL or fibre) to make calls. The company explains:
“Orange’s mobile network coverage is steadily improving, and the ‘Wi-Fi Calling’ feature, which is built into many mobiles, now makes it possible to dispense with the Femtocell.
The UFC-Que choisir tackles Orange
The explanations of Orange have difficulty to pass to the UFC-Que Choisir. The media specializing in consumer affairs explains that the removal of the Femtocell “causes a real decline in service quality” for the 160,000 subscribers who had used it. According to the consumer association, Orange does not take the measure of its decision which can have serious consequences for subscribers living in white areas or in regions with poor coverage.
As for the “Apple Wi-Fi” function, UFC-Que choisir raises several issues. First, “some users deplore the fact that it does not always work perfectly and tends to quickly drain the batteries of phones. And he adds:
‘Above all, in order to benefit from it, the phone must have this feature built in (…) Many Orange subscribers will therefore have to buy a new phone if they want to benefit from it.
The problems raised by UFC-Que choisir have obviously not been heard by Orange. The operator has already organized the return of its boxes. Subscribers will receive a return form to send back their Femtocell so that it can be recycled, even if they have not cancelled the option.