France - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses

Synopsis

The French mobile phone market is one of the largest in Europe, worth about €13 billion annually. The network operators Orange, SFR Group (owned by Altice Group), Bouygues Telecom and Free Mobile have invested in network infrastructure and technologies in recent years. Services based on LTE have near universal coverage, while the network operators have undertaken extensive 5G trials and are looking to launch commercial services in the second half of 2020. This timing is being supported by the auction of spectrum in a range of bands.

Competition among the MNOs and a large number of MVNOs caused mobile services revenue to fall steadily until 2017, since when growth has been low but steady. Pressure on revenue has encouraged operators to look to convergence and bundled services, and so expand their offerings beyond mobile voice and data.

This report provides key statistics and analyses on the French mobile voice and data market. It assesses recent developments related to spectrum licensing and regulatory issues, and profiles the major players and MVNOs, providing statistics on their operating and financial performance as well as their strategies in an increasingly fierce competitive market.

Key developments:

  • Iliad sells its French tower portfolio to help fund 5G rollout;
  • Regulator approves 5G trial licences in the 26GHz band;
  • Bouygues and SFR permitted to use 2.1GHz spectrum for LTE;
  • Orange partners with Ericsson and Nokia to develop a path to 5G, launches national LTE-M service;
  • Regulator consults on revised guidelines for mobile network sharing;
  • Regulator to make 1.5GHz spectrum available for 5G by 2022;
  • MVNO market share increases to 11.1% of subscribers;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data to June 2019, operator data to Q2 2019, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Orange, SFR, Free Mobile, Bouygues Telecom, Virgin Mobile, Omea Telecom

Table of Contents

  • Market analysis

  • Mobile statistics

    • General statistics
  • Mobile infrastructure

    • 5G
    • 4G (LTE)
      • Bouygues Telecom
      • SFR
      • Orange
      • Free Mobile
    • 3G
    • GSM
  • Machine-to-Machine (M2M)

  • Mobile voice

    • Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE)
  • Mobile data

    • Short Message Service (SMS)
    • Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
  • Mobile broadband

  • Regulatory issues

    • Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
      • GSM
      • 3G Licensing – round one
      • 700MHz
      • 800MHz
      • 2.6GHz
      • 900MHz
      • 1800MHz
      • 1.5GHz
      • 2.3GHz shared spectrum
      • 2.1GHz
      • 3.5Hz
      • Spectrum reassignment – November 2018
    • Network sharing
    • Mobile termination rates (MTRs)
    • Roaming
    • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
  • Major mobile operators

    • Orange
    • Altice France
    • Free Mobile
    • Bouygues Telecom
    • MVNOs
  • Mobile content and applications

    • m-payments
    • m-banking
  • Appendix – Historic data

  • Related reports


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Developments in mobile retail revenue and network investment – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 2 – Development of investment in 3G and LTE infrastructure – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 3 – Decline in average monthly bill, ARPU - 2006 – 2019
  • Table 4 – Increase in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2019 – 2024
  • Table 5 – Increase in the number of active mobile subscribers – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 6 – Change in mobile market share of subscribers by MNO – 2016 – 2019
  • Table 7 – Change in the number of prepaid and contract subscribers (national, excl. M2M) – 2011 – 2019
  • Table 8 – Change in the proportion of prepaid versus contract subscribers – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 9 – Change in the number of active 3G and LTE subscribers – 2007 – 2019
  • Table 10 – Increase in the number of Free Mobile’s LTE subscribers – 2014 – 2019
  • Table 11 – Free Mobile average LTE data use – 2015 – 2019
  • Table 12 – 3G base stations in service by operator – October 2019
  • Table 13 – 2G base stations in service by operator – October 2019
  • Table 14 – Increase in the number of M2M cards in use – 2011 – 2019
  • Table 15 – Development of revenue from M2M cards – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 16 – Growth in mobile voice traffic – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 17 – Growth in mobile voice traffic in minutes by type (quarterly) – 2006 – 2019
  • Table 18 – Growth in annual mobile voice traffic by type – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 19 – Growth in mobile data traffic – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 20 – Growth in average mobile data traffic per LTE subscriber – 2011 – 2019
  • Table 21 – Increase in average mobile data traffic per mobile subscriber – 2011 – 2019
  • Table 22 – Change in SMS traffic volume (national) – 2004 – 2019
  • Table 23 – Decline in annual SMS traffic – 2003 – 2019
  • Table 24 – Growth in annual MMS traffic – 2003 – 2019
  • Table 25 – Growth in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
  • Table 26 – Change in the number of dedicated mobile broadband subscribers – 2007 – 2019
  • Table 27 – 2.6GHz spectrum results – Sep 2011
  • Table 28 – Growth in mobile roaming out voice traffic – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 29 – Change in the number of annual mobile numbers ported – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 30 – Change in the number of Orange’s mobile subscribers – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 31 – Decline in Orange’s ARPU and ARPO – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 32 – Change in Orange’s mobile-only revenue (new style) – 2016 – 2019
  • Table 33 – Change in Orange’s mobile customer churn – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 34 – Change in SFR’s mobile revenue (under Altice) – 2015 – 2019
  • Table 35 – Development of SFR’s subscriber base by type – 2006 – 2019
  • Table 36 – Growth in Free Mobile’s mobile subscriber base – 2012 – 2019
  • Table 37 – Growth in Free Mobile’s mobile revenue – 2012 – 2019
  • Table 38 – Growth in Bouygues Telecom’s mobile subscriber base – 2005 – 2019
  • Table 39 – Decline in Bouygues Telecom’s mobile ARPU – 2007 – 2019
  • Table 40 – Development of Bouygues Telecom’s financial data by type – 2005 – 2019
  • Table 41 – Orange MVNO subscribers – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 42 – Increase in the number of MNO and MVNO subscribers (metropolitan) – 2005 – 2019
  • Table 43 – Change in MVNO market share of subscribers (metropolitan) – 2005 – 2019
  • Table 44 – Data market revenue by type (historic) – 2002 – 2012
  • Table 45 – Historic - Mobile retail revenue – 1998 – 2009
  • Table 46 – Historic - Mobile subscribers (national, old format incl. M2M) and penetration rate – 1999 – 2014
  • Table 47 – Historic - Annual mobile numbers ported – 2004 – 2009
  • Table 48 – Prepaid and contract subscribers (old format national, incl. M2M) – 2005 – 2014
  • Table 49 – Growth in Mobile voice traffic – 1998 – 2019
  • Table 50 – Historic - Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2005 – 2015
  • Table 51 – Historic - Proportion of prepaid versus contract subscribers – 1999 – 2009
  • Table 52 – Historic - Mobile interconnection revenue – 2003 – 2017
  • Table 53 – Historic - Mobile roaming out voice traffic – 2003 – 2009
  • Table 54 – Historic - Orange mobile revenue by type – 2011 – 2017

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Developments in mobile retail revenue and network investment – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 2 – Development of investment in 3G and LTE infrastructure – 2013 – 2018
  • Chart 3 – Decline in average monthly bill, ARPU - 2006 – 2019
  • Chart 4 – Increase in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2019 – 2024
  • Chart 5 – Change in mobile market share of subscribers by MNO – 2016 – 2019
  • Chart 6 – Change in the number of prepaid and contract subscribers (national, excl. M2M) – 2011 – 2019
  • Chart 7 – Change in the proportion of prepaid versus contract subscribers – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 8 – Change in the number of active 3G and LTE subscribers – 2007 – 2019
  • Chart 9 – Increase in the number of Free Mobile’s LTE subscribers – 2014 – 2019
  • Chart 10 – Increase in the number of M2M cards in use – 2011 – 2019
  • Chart 11 – Development of revenue from M2M cards – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 12 – Growth in mobile voice traffic – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 13 – Growth in annual mobile voice traffic by type – 2008 – 2019
  • Chart 14 – Growth in mobile data traffic – 2008 – 2019
  • Chart 15 – Growth in average mobile data traffic per LTE subscriber – 2011 – 2019
  • Chart 16 – Increase in average mobile data traffic per mobile subscriber – 2011 – 2019
  • Chart 17 – Change in SMS traffic volume (national) – 2004 – 2019
  • Chart 18 – Decline in annual SMS traffic – 2003 – 2019
  • Chart 19 – Growth in annual MMS traffic – 2003 – 2019
  • Chart 20 – Growth in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
  • Chart 21 – Change in the number of dedicated mobile broadband subscribers – 2007 – 2019
  • Chart 22 – Growth in mobile roaming out voice traffic – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 23 – Change in the number of annual mobile numbers ported – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 24 – Change in the number of Orange’s mobile subscribers (France) – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 25 – Decline in Orange’s ARPU and ARPO – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 26 – Change in Orange’s mobile-only revenue (new style) – 2016 – 2019
  • Chart 27 – Change in Orange’s mobile customer churn – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 28 – Change in SFR’s mobile revenue (under Altice) – 2015 – 2019
  • Chart 29 – Development of SFR’s subscriber base by type – 2006 – 2019
  • Chart 30 – Growth in Free Mobile’s mobile subscriber base – 2012 – 2019
  • Chart 31 – Growth in Free Mobile’s mobile revenue – 2012 – 2019
  • Chart 32 – Growth in Bouygues Telecom’s mobile subscriber base – 2005 – 2019
  • Chart 33 – Decline in Bouygues Telecom’s mobile ARPU – 2007 – 2019
  • Chart 34 – Development of Bouygues Telecom’s financial data by type – 2005 – 2019
  • Chart 35 – Increase in the number of MNO and MVNO subscribers (metropolitan) – 2005 – 2019
  • Chart 36 – Change in MVNO market share of subscribers (metropolitan) – 2005 – 2019

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – 3G licensees
  • Exhibit 2 – Reassigned multi-spectrum holdings (900MHz) – 2021 – 2025
  • Exhibit 3 – Operating MVNOs and network provider

Related Reports

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Licence Information

Focus Report Profile

Technologies

Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media
Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure)
Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)

Number of pages 110

Status Current

Last updated 25 Oct 2019
Update History

Analyst: Henry Lancaster

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