2013 France - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

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Last updated: 17 Apr 2013 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 149

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in France’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
  • Convergence and Digital Media;
  • 3G subscriber and mobile ARPU forecasts to 2015;
  • Broadband market forecasts for selective years to 2020.

Key developments:

Auction for 2.6GHz frequency licences completed; Omea (Virgin Mobile) becomes the first full MVNO in France; Virgin Mobile launches quad-play service; MNP process reduced to three days; Bouygues Telecom buy’s KPN’s MVNO Simyo; DVB-T2 standard may be adopted by end-2015; Orange TV migrates to single access platform; SFR drops IPTV service in favour of partnership with Canal+; Orange invests €2 billion to provide 15 million households with FttH by 2015; regulator consults on 3.5GHs spectrum for broadband use; strong growth in number of homes passed by shared fibre networks; government promotes €20 billion investment for national FttH network by 2023; 4G licence auction brings in €936 million; Bouygues allowed to reuse 1800MHz holdings for LTE; success of fibre co-investment deals among operators; regulator market data for 2012; operator data to Q4 2012; market developments to April 2013.

Companies covered in this report include:

Orange, SFR, Iliad (Free), SFR, Numéricable, Bouygues Telecom, Vivendi, AB Group, TNTSat, Canal.

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- April 2013(12th Edition) 

Executive Summary

Fibre connections reach 12% of connected premises

BuddeComm’s annual publication, France - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media sectors of one of Europe’s largest markets. The report includes the regulator’s market data for 2012, operator data to Q4 2012 and market developments to April 2013.

Economic background

France’s economy continues to be sickened by the ongoing Eurozone crisis, with public finances in a poor position and a high ratio of debt to GDP. The exposure of French banks to Greek debts and the risk to the country’s credit rating prompted the government to introduce a variety of tax measures worth €12 billion for 2011-2012 in a bid to reduce the deficit to 3% of GDP in 2013. Real GDP growth reached only about 0.2% in 2012, and is expected to remain low for 2013.

Telecom market overview

France has one of the largest telecom markets in Europe. Telecom investment has recovered since 2009 as operators commit themselves to upgrading networks and securing mobile spectrum to provide 4G services. The bulk fixed operators’ investments is in networks, particularly in the fibre sector, while mobile operators are upgrading networks to maximise use of newly acquired spectrum. Broadband growth has tapered off in recent quarters in response to high penetration, and while DSL remains the main access platform the fibre sector is the strongest for growth in terms of subscribers and investment, with several players committed to massive roll-outs in coming years, supported by government funding and a sympathetic regulatory regime. Revenue from both mobile and fixed-line services (telephony and fixed-line internet) continues to fall, showing the effects of competition and regulatory measures.

Broadband market

The number of FttH connections has grown rapidly since 2008, though the total remains relatively small compared to the larger number of connected premises. A growing number of households have fibre delivered through network sharing agreements between ISPs and buildings’ management following regulatory decisions on terms and conditions for fibre access. Despite the daunting investment involved, France has become one of the main countries in Europe for fibre deployment. Much of this success has been achieved commercially, though since 2005 both central and municipal governments have been at the forefront in pushing a national fibre strategy.

Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2013



2013 (e)

Subscribers by sector (million):

Fixed broadband subscribers



Mobile phone



Fixed-line telephony



Penetration by sector:

Fixed broadband









(Source: BuddeComm)

Market Highlights

  • Coverage of LTE networks using 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum bands has grown rapidly since spectrum auctions in 2010. This has supported a doubling of mobile data traffic during the last two years, growth which is expected to continue in coming years as consumers migrate from PCs to wireless broadband-enabled devices for data.
  • The number of FttH customers is above 315,000 one million, representing about 12% of connected premises compared to 9% in 2008.
  • The market share of MVNOs had gained ground steadily before falling back in 2012 in response to operators responding to competition with cheaper plans and pricing through their own low-costs brands.
  • Revenue from PSTN services continues to fall steadily, and is no longer compensated by revenue. From VoIP services.

This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in France. It provides further information on:

  • Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
  • The impact of the global economic crisis;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile data market developments in coming years in light of spectrum auctions and new license awards;
  • 3G developments, regulatory issues and technologies including HSPA and LTE;
  • Broadband migration to an FttH architecture;
  • Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;
  • ARPU statistics and forecasts.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

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