France - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in France’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the fixed-line, mobile and broadband sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure developments;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
  • Mobile subscribers and ARPU;
  • Broadband market forecasts;
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and industry issues;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE, 5G).

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- January 2018 (16th Edition) 

Executive Summary

France’s second telco SFR to be rebranded as Altice in 2018

France has the third largest telecoms market in Europe. The incumbent telco Orange Group is one of the world’s major operators, with interests in markets across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Domestically, the company still dominates all sectors despite market liberalisation, though increasing competition from major players such as SFR Group and Iliad has gradually eroded this lead.

The mobile sector is dominated by four providers, Orange, SFR Group, Bouygues Telecom and Free Mobile, complemented by a good number of MVNOs which together have a market share of subscribers approaching 11%. The MNOs have invested in network infrastructure and technologies in recent years. LTE-A providing data at above 300Mb/s has extensive coverage, while both Orange and Bouygues Telecom are involved in 5G trials. The regulator has also been supportive, having in late 2017 started a procedure to allocate a portion of the 3.5GHz band for 5G in anticipation of that technology coming into commercial use.

France also has one of the largest broadband subscriber bases in Europe. Growth in recent years has been bolstered by demand for high bandwidth services, which has prompted considerable investment in fibre infrastructure among telcos and regional governments. This has been supported by regulatory measures which have promoted access to Orange’s copper and fibre infrastructure for new entrants, as well as a national broadband program which involves an investment of more than €20 billion. Of this sum, telcos are commercially responsible to building out infrastructure affecting almost 60% of the population, with the balance being covered by local government initiatives at cost of about €14 billion. Progress in deployment has been rapid, while the take-up rate among consumers has also increased substantially.

This report introduces the key aspects of France’s telecom market, providing statistics on the fixed network, an analysis of operator strategies, and a review of the key regulatory issues including the status of number portability, wholesaling and carrier preselection. The report also assesses the mobile voice and data markets, providing analyses on recent developments related to spectrum licensing and regulatory issues, as also on the deployment of emerging technologies. In addition the report covers the fixed and fixed-wireless broadband market, focussing on cable, DSL and the fast-developing FttP/C sectors. It reviews the strategies of the principal providers such as Orange, Iliad and SFR Group, and considers the regulatory status of LLU and access to fibre infrastructure.

Key developments:

  • Bouygues completes sale of 600 towers to Cellnex;
  • Bouygues Telecom sets up Objenious subsidiary dedicated to the Internet of Things;
  • Ireland-France Cable-1 system set to begin construction;
  • Orange’s LoRa network available in 4,000 towns by mid-2017;
  • SFR to be rebranded as Altice by mid-2018;
  • Orange partners with Ericsson and Nokia to develop a path to 5G;
  • Orange Group opens Orange Bank;
  • Regulator proposes mobile broadband use for 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz band spectrum;
  • MVNO market share increases to 10.7% of subscribers;
  • Government proposes new measures to fill gaps in broadband availability;
  • SFR increases footprint of its 1Gb/s FttP service;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to September 2017, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q3 2017, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Orange, Iliad (Free Mobile), SFR Group (Numéricable), Bouygues Telecom, Virgin Mobile, Omea Telecom.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Key statistics
    • 1.1 Country overview
  • 2. Telecommunications market
    • 2.1 Market analysis
  • 3. Regulatory environment
    • 3.1 History
    • 3.2 National legal framework
    • 3.3 France NumErique 2012
    • 3.4 Regulatory authority
      • 3.4.1 Communications and Postal Regulatory Authority (ARCEP)
    • 3.5 Telecom sector liberalisation
      • 3.5.1 Privatisation of Orange Group
      • 3.5.2 Interconnect
      • 3.5.3 Access
      • 3.5.4 Number Portability (NP)
      • 3.5.5 Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
  • 4. Fixed network operators
    • 4.1 Orange Group
      • 4.1.1 Essentials 2020
    • 4.2 SFR Group
    • 4.3 Free (Iliad)
    • 4.4 Bouygues Telecom
  • 5. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 5.1 National telecom network
    • 5.2 International infrastructure
      • 5.2.1 Submarine cable networks
      • 5.2.2 Satellite networks
      • 5.2.3 Cloud services
    • 5.3 Smart infrastructure
      • 5.3.1 Internet of Things (IoT)
      • 5.3.2 Smart Cities
  • 6. Broadband market
    • 6.1 Introduction and statistical overview
      • 6.1.1 Market analysis
      • 6.1.2 Broadband statistics
      • 6.1.3 Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2018; 2020; 2022
      • 6.1.4 Regulatory issues
    • 6.2 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
    • 6.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • 6.3.1 Orange
    • 6.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
      • 6.4.1 Introduction
      • 6.4.2 Statistics
      • 6.4.3 Orange
      • 6.4.4 Iliad (Free)
      • 6.4.5 SFR Group
      • 6.4.6 Bouygues Telecom
      • 6.4.7 Municipal projects
      • 6.4.8 Fibre network sharing
    • 6.5 Other fixed broadband services
      • 6.5.1 Broadband Powerline (BPL)
      • 6.5.2 Fixed wireless (Wi-Fi and WiMAX)
  • 7. Mobile communications
    • 7.1 Market analysis
    • 7.2 Mobile statistics
      • 7.2.1 General statistics
      • 7.2.2 Mobile voice
      • 7.2.3 Mobile data
      • 7.2.4 Mobile broadband
      • 7.2.5 Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2018; 2020; 2022
    • 7.3 Regulatory issues
      • 7.3.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
      • 7.3.2 Network sharing
      • 7.3.3 Mobile termination rates (MTRs)
      • 7.3.4 Roaming
      • 7.3.5 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • 7.4 Mobile infrastructure
      • 7.4.1 Digital networks
      • 7.4.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile
      • 7.4.3 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
      • 7.4.4 5G
    • 7.5 Major mobile operators
      • 7.5.1 SFR Group
      • 7.5.2 Free Mobile
      • 7.5.3 Bouygues Telecom
      • 7.5.4 MVNOs
    • 7.6 Mobile content and applications
      • 7.6.1 m-payments
      • 7.6.2 m-banking
    • 7.7 Machine-to-Machine (M2M)
    • Table 1 – Country statistics – 2017 (e)
    • Table 2 – Telecom revenue and investment statistics – 2017 (e)
    • Table 3 – Telephone network statistics – 2017 (e)
    • Table 4 – Internet user statistics – 2017 (e)
    • Table 5 – Broadband statistics – 2017 (e)
    • Table 6 – Mobile statistics – 2017 (e)
    • Table 7 – National telecommunications authorities
    • Table 8 – Telecom service investment – 2002 - 2016
    • Table 9 – End-user traffic volume in minutes by sector – 2002 - 2016
    • Table 10 – End-user traffic growth by sector – 2002 - 2016
    • Table 11 – Telecom market revenue by sector – 2008 - 2017
    • Table 12 – Proportion of telecom revenue by sector – 2009 - 2017
    • Table 13 – End-user fixed-line market value – 2003 - 2017
    • Table 14 – End-user telecom market value annual change – 2003 - 2016
    • Table 15 – End-user monthly bill by service – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 16 – Fixed lines subscriptions by type – 2003 - 2016
    • Table 17 – Interconnect revenue – 2007 - 2016
    • Table 18 – Interconnect traffic – 2007 - 2016
    • Table 19 – Unbundled and bitstream lines – 2002 - 2017
    • Table 20 – Orange wholesale broadband lines – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 21 – Fixed numbers ported annually – 2005 - 2015
    • Table 22 – Indirect connections – 2006 - 2015
    • Table 23 – Orange customers by sector (France) – 2006 - 2017
    • Table 24 – Orange retail voice lines – 2007 - 2017
    • Table 25 – Orange Group financial data by sector – 2008 - 2017
    • Table 26 – Orange (domestic) financial data – 2007 - 2017
    • Table 27 – Orange (domestic) telecom capex – 2008 - 2017
    • Table 28 – Orange retail and wholesale lines – 2006 - 2017
    • Table 29 – SFR Group subscribers – 2006 - 2017
    • Table 30 –SFR Group financial data – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 31 – SFR Group telecom capex – 2008 - 2017
    • Table 32 – Free revenue by business line – 2006 - 2017
    • Table 33 – Free DSL, LLU subscribers – 2005 - 2014
    • Table 34 – Free subscribers by sector – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 35 – Bouygues Telecom subscribers by sector – 2005- 2017
    • Table 36 – Bouygues Telecom financial data – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 37 – Fixed-lines in service – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 38 – Proportion of fixed lines by technology – 2004 - 2017
    • Table 39 – Dial-up internet subscribers – 2005 - 2015
    • Table 40 – Dial-up internet traffic – 2005 - 2014
    • Table 41 – Broadband subscribers by type and penetration – 2000 - 2017
    • Table 42 – Superfast broadband connections – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 43 – Broadband penetration by technology – 2007 - 2016
    • Table 44 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate – 1995 - 2009
    • Table 45 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2010 - 2018
    • Table 46 – Internet subscribers – 2008 - 2017
    • Table 47 – Historic - Percentage of households with internet access – 1997 - 2009
    • Table 48 – Percentage of households with internet access – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 49 – Forecast broadband subscribers –– 2018; 2020; 2022
    • Table 50 – Cable modem subscribers – 2000 - 2017
    • Table 51 – DSL subscribers – 2000 - 2018
    • Table 52 – Orange DSL subscribers – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 53 – Free broadband revenue – 2006 - 2017
    • Table 54 – Free broadband subscribers – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 55 – Free broadband subscriber ARPU – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 56 –SFR broadband subscribers by type – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 57 – SFR broadband homes passed – 2009 - 2017
    • Table 58 – SFR revenue – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 59 – SFR annualised ARPU by broadband service – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 60 – Bouygues Telecom broadband subscribers – 2010- 2017
    • Table 61 – FttP equipped and passed buildings – 2008 - 2017
    • Table 62 – FttP subscribers – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 63 – Orange fibre subscribers – 2006 - 2017
    • Table 64 – Bouygues Telecom fibre subscribers – 2015 - 2017
    • Table 65 – Network shared FttP passed premises by operator – 2015 - 2017
    • Table 66 – Orange satellite broadband subscribers – 2008 - 2017
    • Table 67 – Mobile sector investment – 2007 - 2016
    • Table 68 – Mobile retail revenue – 1998 - 2017
    • Table 69 – Average monthly bill, ARPU - 2006 - 2017
    • Table 70 – Historic - Mobile subscribers (national, old format incl. M2M) and penetration rate – 1999 - 2014
    • Table 71 – Mobile subscribers (national) and penetration rate – 2013 - 2018
    • Table 72 – Mobile services traffic in minutes – 1998 - 2017
    • Table 73 – Mobile voice traffic in minutes by type (quarterly) – 2006 - 2017
    • Table 74 – Annual mobile voice traffic by type – 2008 – 2017
    • Table 75 – Mobile operator market share – 2005 - 2016
    • Table 76 – Prepaid and contract subscribers (old format national, incl. M2M) – 2005 – 2014
    • Table 77 – Prepaid and contract subscribers (national, excl. M2M) – 2011 – 2017
    • Table 78 – Proportion of prepaid versus contract subscribers – 1999 - 2017
    • Table 79 – Data market revenue by type (historic) – 2002 - 2012
    • Table 80 – Mobile data traffic (TB) – 2008 - 2017
    • Table 81 – Average mobile data traffic per 3G/LTE subscriber – 2011 - 2016
    • Table 82 – Mobile data traffic from LTE networks – 2016 - 2017
    • Table 83 – Average mobile data traffic per mobile subscriber – 2011 - 2016
    • Table 84 – SMS traffic volume (national) – 2004 - 2017
    • Table 85 – Annual SMS volume (national) – 2003 - 2017
    • Table 86 – Annual MMS volume – 2000 - 2017
    • Table 87 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2016
    • Table 88 – Dedicated mobile broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2017
    • Table 89 – Forecast - mobile subscribers - 2018; 2020; 2022
    • Table 90 – 2.6GHz spectrum results – Sep 2011
    • Table 91 – Mobile termination charges – 2005 - 2013
    • Table 92 – Mobile interconnection revenue – 2003 - 2017
    • Table 93 – European roaming charges – 2007 – 2016
    • Table 94 – Mobile roaming out revenue and traffic in minutes – 2003 - 2017
    • Table 95 – European data roaming charges – 2014 - 2017
    • Table 96 – Annual mobile numbers ported – 2004 – 2017
    • Table 97 – 2G base stations in service by operator – November 2017
    • Table 98 – 3G base stations in service by operator – November 2017
    • Table 99 – Active 3G subscribers and proportion of total – 2007 - 2017
    • Table 100 – Active LTE subscribers and proportion of total – 2014 - 2017
    • Table 101 – Free mobile LTE subscribers – 2014 – 2017
    • Table 102 – Orange mobile subscribers (France) – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 103 – Orange blended, contract, prepaid ARPU (Q4) – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 104 – Orange mobile consumer revenue – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 105 – Orange mobile revenue by type – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 106 – Orange mobile customer churn – 2003 – 2017
    • Table 107 – Orange mobile customer acquisition costs – 2007 - 2016
    • Table 108 – SFR mobile annualised ARPU – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 109 – SFR revenue (historic) – 2004 - 2013
    • Table 110 – SFR mobile revenue (under Altice) – 2015 - 2017
    • Table 111 – SFR subscribers – 2006 - 2017
    • Table 112 – Free Mobile mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2017
    • Table 113 – Free Mobile mobile revenue – 2012 - 2017
    • Table 114 – Bouygues Telecom subscribers – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 115 – Bouygues Telecom mobile ARPU – 2007 - 2017
    • Table 116 – Bouygues Telecom financial data by type – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 117 – MNO and MVNO subscribers (metropolitan) – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 118 – MVNO market share (metropolitan) – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 119 – M2M cards in use – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 120 – Revenue from M2M cards – 2009 - 2017
    • Chart 1 – Telecom service investment – 2002 – 2016
    • Chart 2 – End-user traffic volume in minutes by sector – 2002 – 2016
    • Chart 3 – Telecom market revenue by sector – 2008 – 2017
    • Chart 4 – Fixed lines subscriptions by type – 2003 – 2016
    • Chart 5 – Orange wholesale broadband lines – 2006 – 2017
    • Chart 6 – Orange customers by sector (France) – 2006 – 2017
    • Chart 7 – Orange Group financial data – 2008 – 2017
    • Chart 8 – Orange (domestic) financial data – 2007 – 2017
    • Chart 9 – Orange retail and wholesale lines – 2006 – 2017
    • Chart 10 – SFR Group subscribers – 2006 - 2017
    • Chart 11 – SFR Group financial data – 2005 - 2017
    • Chart 12 – Free revenue by segment – 2006 – 2017
    • Chart 13 – Free subscribers by sector – 2011 – 2017
    • Chart 14 – Bouygues Telecom financial data – 2005 – 2017
    • Chart 15 – Broadband subscribers by type and penetration – 2003 – 2017
    • Chart 16 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2005 – 2018
    • Chart 17 – Average monthly bill and ARPU - 2006 – 2017
    • Chart 18 – Mobile subscribers (national) and penetration rate – 2011 – 2018
    • Chart 19 – Mobile operator market share – 2005 – 2016
    • Chart 20 – Active 3G subscribers and annual change – 2007 - 2017
    • Chart 21 – Orange mobile subscribers (France) – 2005 – 2017
    • Chart 22 – Orange blended, contract, prepaid ARPU – 2005 – 2017
    • Chart 23 – Orange mobile customer acquisition costs – 2007 - 2016
    • Chart 24 – SFR subscribers – 2006 - 2017
    • Chart 25 – MNO, MVNO subscribers (metropolitan) – 2005 - 2017
    • Exhibit 1 – Access and the local loop
    • Exhibit 2 – Principal FttP and FttC (FttLA) deployments
    • Exhibit 3 – 3G licensees
    • Exhibit 4 – Operating MVNOs and network provider

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