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:- November 2018 (17th Edition) 

Executive Summary

France begins closing down PSTN network

France has the third largest telecoms market in Europe, worth about €31 billion annually. The incumbent telco Orange Group is one of the world’s major players with interests in markNoooets across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Despite market liberalisation, the company still dominates all sectors though increasing competition from a number of major players (notably Altice and Iliad) has gradually eroded this lead, prompting it to respond with a range of innovative offers and wide-ranging strategies to meet future customer needs. It is also investing in a national fibre network, largely in response to the activities of smaller players.

The mobile sector is dominated by the four providers Orange, SFR Group, Bouygues Telecom and Free Mobile, complemented by an increasing number of MVNOs which together have a market share of around 11% of subscribers. The network operators have invested in network infrastructure and technologies in recent years. LTE-A providing data at above 300Mb/s has extensive coverage, while operators have undertaken 5G trials. The development of 5G has also been supported by the regulator which intends to auction spectrum for 5G use in early 2019 in anticipation of services coming into commercial use later in the year.

France 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. Progress in deployment has been rapid, while the take-up rate among consumers has also increased substantially.

DSL still dominates the broadband market in terms of access lines, though the number of DSL lines is falling as customers are migrated to fibre infrastructure. Fibre deployments have grown substantially in recent years, with all of the major ISPs concentrating their investments in the platform with a view to promoting 1Gb/s services. By June 2018 there were almost four million fibre connections, and fibre accounted for half of all superfast broadband connections nationally.

This report introduces the key aspects of France’s telecom market, providing statistics on the country’s 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 covers the mobile voice and data markets, assessing recent developments related to spectrum licensing and regulatory issues, and profiling the major players and MVNOs. In addition the report reviews France’s fixed broadband market, focussing on cable, DSL and the fast-developing FttP/C sectors. It considers the strategies of the principal providers such as Orange, Iliad and Altice (SFR Group), and considers the regulatory status of LLU and access to fibre infrastructure

Key developments:

  • Orange stops promoting PSTN products;
  • Bouygues Telecom sets up Objenious subsidiary dedicated to the Internet of Things;
  • Orange sets up Orange Horizons subsidiary to exploit potential in new markets;
  • Regulator institutes revised spectrum coverage obligations;
  • Orange partners with Ericsson and Nokia to develop a path to 5G, launches national LTE-M service;
  • Regulator progresses with 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz spectrum use for 5G;
  • Government proposes new measures to fill gaps in broadband availability;
  • Altice increases footprint of its 1Gb/s FttP service;
  • Success of fibre co-investment deals among operators;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data updates to June 2018, operator data to Q3 2018, recent market development.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Orange, Iliad (Free, Free Mobile), Altice (SFR Group), Numéricable, Bouygues Telecom, Virgin Mobile, Omea Telecom, Bouygues 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 Altice France
    • 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 – 2019; 2021; 2023
      • 6.1.4 Regulatory issues
    • 6.2 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
    • 6.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
    • 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
    • 7.3 Mobile infrastructure
      • 7.3.1 5G
      • 7.3.2 4G (LTE)
      • 7.3.3 3G
      • 7.3.4 GSM
    • 7.4 Machine-to-Machine (M2M)
    • 7.5 Mobile voice
      • 7.5.1 Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE)
    • 7.6 Mobile data
      • 7.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
      • 7.6.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
    • 7.7 Mobile broadband
    • 7.8 Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • 7.9 Regulatory issues
      • 7.9.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
      • 7.9.2 Network sharing
      • 7.9.3 Mobile termination rates (MTRs)
      • 7.9.4 Roaming
      • 7.9.5 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • 7.10 Major mobile operators
      • 7.10.1 Orange
      • 7.10.2 Altice France
      • 7.10.3 Free Mobile
      • 7.10.4 Bouygues Telecom
      • 7.10.5 MVNOs
    • 7.11 Mobile content and applications
      • 7.11.1 m-payments
      • 7.11.2 m-banking
      • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - France – 2018 (e)
      • Table 2 – Telecom service investment – 2002 - 2017
      • Table 3 – End-user traffic volume in minutes by sector – 2002 - 2018
      • Table 4 – End-user traffic growth by sector – 2002 - 2017
      • Table 5 – Telecom market revenue by sector – 2008 - 2018
      • Table 6 – End-user fixed-line market value – 2003 - 2018
      • Table 7 – Proportion of telecom revenue by sector – 2009 - 2018
      • Table 8 – End-user telecom market value annual change – 2004 - 2017
      • Table 9 – Telecom market revenue by sector – 2008 - 2018
      • Table 10 – End-user monthly bill by service – 2010 - 2017
      • Table 11 – Fixed lines subscriptions by type – 2003 - 2018
      • Table 12 – Interconnect revenue – 2007 - 2016
      • Table 13 – Interconnect traffic – 2007 - 2016
      • Table 14 – Unbundled and bitstream lines – 2002 - 2018
      • Table 15 – Orange wholesale broadband lines – 2006 - 2018
      • Table 16 – Fixed numbers ported annually – 2005 - 2018
      • Table 17 – Indirect connections – 2006 - 2016
      • Table 18 – Orange customers by sector (France) – 2006 - 2018
      • Table 19 – Orange retail voice lines – 2007 - 2018
      • Table 20 – Orange Group financial data by sector – 2008 - 2018
      • Table 21 – Orange (domestic) financial data – 2007 - 2018
      • Table 22 – Orange (domestic) telecom capex – 2008 - 2018
      • Table 23 – Orange retail and wholesale lines – 2006 - 2018
      • Table 24 – SFR Group subscribers – 2006 - 2018
      • Table 25 –SFR Group financial data – 2005 - 2018
      • Table 26 – SFR Group telecom capex – 2008 - 2018
      • Table 27 – Free revenue by business line – 2006 - 2018
      • Table 28 – Free DSL, LLU subscribers – 2005 - 2014
      • Table 29 – Free subscribers by sector – 2009 - 2018
      • Table 30 – Bouygues Telecom subscribers by sector – 2005- 2018
      • Table 31 – Bouygues Telecom financial data – 2005 - 2018
      • Table 32 – Fixed-lines in service – 2011 - 2018
      • Table 33 – Proportion of fixed lines by technology – 2004 - 2017
      • Table 34 – International internet bandwidth – 2000 - 2016
      • Table 35 – Dial-up internet subscribers – 2005 - 2015
      • Table 36 – Dial-up internet traffic – 2004 - 2014
      • Table 37 – Broadband subscribers by platform – 2000 - 2018
      • Table 38 – Superfast broadband connections – 2011 - 2018
      • Table 39 – Proportion of premises covered by superfast broadband networks – 2012 - 2017
      • Table 40 – Superfast broadband connections by platform – 2011 - 2018
      • Table 41 – Broadband penetration by technology – 2007 - 2017
      • Table 42 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate – 1995 - 2009
      • Table 43 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2010 - 2018
      • Table 44 – Internet subscribers – 2008 - 2018
      • Table 45 – Historic - Percentage of households with internet access – 1997 - 2009
      • Table 46 – Percentage of households with internet access – 2010 - 2018
      • Table 47 – Forecast broadband subscribers –– 2019; 2021; 2023
      • Table 48 – Cable modem subscribers – 2000 - 2018
      • Table 49 – DSL subscribers – 2000 - 2018
      • Table 50 – Orange DSL subscribers – 2005 - 2018
      • Table 51 – Free broadband revenue – 2006 - 2018
      • Table 52 – Free broadband subscribers – 2005 - 2018
      • Table 53 – Free broadband subscriber ARPU – 2013 - 2018
      • Table 54 –SFR broadband subscribers by type – 2013 - 2017
      • Table 55 – SFR broadband homes passed – 2009 - 2017
      • Table 56 – SFR revenue – 2005 - 2017
      • Table 57 – SFR annualised ARPU by broadband service – 2013 - 2017
      • Table 58 – FttP equipped and passed buildings – 2008 - 2018
      • Table 59 – FttP subscribers – 2011 - 2018
      • Table 60 – Orange fibre subscribers – 2006 - 2018
      • Table 61 – Free fibre subscribers – 2015 - 2018
      • Table 62 – Bouygues Telecom broadband subscribers – 2010- 2018
      • Table 63 – FttP subscriptions – 2015 - 2018
      • Table 64 – Orange satellite broadband subscribers – 2008 - 2017
      • Table 65 – Mobile sector investment – 2007 - 2017
      • Table 66 – Investment in 3G and LTE infrastructure – 2013 - 2017
      • Table 67 – Mobile retail revenue – 1998 - 2018
      • Table 68 – Average monthly bill, ARPU - 2006 - 2017
      • Table 69 – Historic - Mobile subscribers (national, old format incl. M2M) and penetration rate – 1999 - 2014
      • Table 70 – Mobile subscribers (national) and penetration rate – 2011 - 2019
      • Table 71 – Mobile services traffic in minutes – 1998 - 2018
      • Table 72 – Mobile voice traffic in minutes by type (quarterly) – 2006 - 2018
      • Table 73 – Annual mobile voice traffic by type – 2008 – 2018
      • Table 74 – Mobile operator market share – 2005 - 2016
      • Table 75 – Prepaid and contract subscribers (old format national, incl. M2M) – 2005 – 2014
      • Table 76 – Prepaid and contract subscribers (national, excl. M2M) – 2011 – 2018
      • Table 77 – Proportion of prepaid versus contract subscribers – 1999 - 2018
      • Table 78 – Active LTE subscribers – 2014 - 2018
      • Table 79 – Free Mobile LTE subscribers – 2014 – 2018
      • Table 80 – Free Mobile average LTE data use – 2015 – 2018
      • Table 81 – 3G base stations in service by operator – November 2017
      • Table 82 – Active 3G subscribers – 2007 - 2018
      • Table 83 – 2G base stations in service by operator – November 2017
      • Table 84 – M2M cards in use – 2011 - 2018
      • Table 85 – Revenue from M2M cards – 2009 - 2018
      • Table 86 – Data market revenue by type (historic) – 2002 - 2012
      • Table 87 – Mobile data traffic (TB) – 2008 - 2018
      • Table 88 – Average mobile data traffic per 3G/LTE subscriber – 2011 - 2017
      • Table 89 – Mobile data traffic from LTE networks – 2016 - 2018
      • Table 90 – Average mobile data traffic per mobile subscriber – 2011 - 2017
      • Table 91 – SMS traffic volume (national) – 2004 - 2018
      • Table 92 – Annual SMS volume (national) – 2003 - 2018
      • Table 93 – Annual MMS volume – 2003 - 2018
      • Table 94 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2018
      • Table 95 – Dedicated mobile broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2018
      • Table 96 – Forecast - mobile subscribers - 2019; 2021; 2023
      • Table 97 – 2.6GHz spectrum results – Sep 2011
      • Table 98 – Mobile termination charges – 2005 - 2013
      • Table 99 – Mobile interconnection revenue – 2003 - 2017
      • Table 100 – European roaming charges – 2007 – 2016
      • Table 101 – Mobile roaming out voice traffic – 2003 - 2018
      • Table 102 – European data roaming charges – 2014 - 2017
      • Table 103 – Annual mobile numbers ported – 2004 – 2018
      • Table 104 – Orange mobile subscribers (France) – 2005 - 2018
      • Table 105 – Orange blended, contract, prepaid ARPU (Q4) – 2005 - 2017
      • Table 106 – Orange blended, contract, prepaid ARPO (Q4) – 2017 - 2018
      • Table 107 – Orange mobile revenue by type – 2011 - 2017
      • Table 108 – Orange mobile-only revenue (new style) – 2016 - 2018
      • Table 109 – Orange mobile customer churn – 2003 – 2018
      • Table 110 – Orange mobile customer acquisition costs – 2007 - 2016
      • Table 111 – SFR mobile annualised ARPU – 2005 - 2018
      • Table 112 – SFR revenue (historic) – 2004 - 2013
      • Table 113 – SFR mobile revenue (under Altice) – 2015 - 2018
      • Table 114 – SFR subscribers – 2006 - 2018
      • Table 115 – Free Mobile mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2018
      • Table 116 – Free Mobile mobile revenue – 2012 - 2018
      • Table 117 – Bouygues Telecom subscribers – 2005 - 2018
      • Table 118 – Bouygues Telecom mobile ARPU – 2007 - 2018
      • Table 119 – Bouygues Telecom financial data by type – 2005 - 2018
      • Table 120 – MNO and MVNO subscribers (metropolitan) – 2005 - 2018
      • Table 121 – MVNO market share (metropolitan) – 2005 - 2018
      • Chart 1 – Telecom service investment – 2002 – 2017
      • Chart 2 – End-user traffic volume in minutes by sector – 2002 – 2018
      • Chart 3 – Telecom market revenue by sector – 2008 – 2018
      • Chart 4 – Fixed lines subscriptions by type – 2003 – 2018
      • Chart 5 – Orange wholesale broadband lines – 2006 – 2018
      • Chart 6 – Orange customers by sector (France) – 2006 – 2018
      • Chart 7 – Orange Group financial data – 2008 – 2018
      • Chart 8 – Orange (domestic) financial data – 2007 – 2018
      • Chart 9 – Orange retail and wholesale lines – 2006 – 2018
      • Chart 10 – SFR Group subscribers – 2006 - 2018
      • Chart 11 – SFR Group financial data – 2005 - 2018
      • Chart 12 – Free revenue by segment – 2006 – 2018
      • Chart 13 – Free subscribers by sector – 2009 – 2018
      • Chart 14 – Bouygues Telecom financial data – 2005 – 2018
      • Chart 15 – Broadband subscribers by platform – 2000 – 2018
      • 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 – 2019
      • Chart 19 – Mobile operator market share – 2005 – 2016
      • Chart 20 – Orange mobile subscribers (France) – 2005 – 2018
      • Chart 21 – Orange blended, contract, prepaid ARPU – 2005 – 2017
      • Chart 22 – Orange mobile customer acquisition costs – 2007 - 2016
      • Chart 23 – SFR subscribers – 2006 - 2018
      • Chart 24 – MNO, MVNO subscribers (metropolitan) – 2005 - 2018
      • Exhibit 1 – Access and the local loop
      • Exhibit 2 – Principal FttP and FttC (FttLA) deployments
      • Exhibit 3 – 3G licensees
      • Exhibit 4 – Reassigned multi-spectrum holdings (900MHz) – 2021 - 2025
      • Exhibit 5 – Operating MVNOs and network provider

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