France has the third largest telecoms market in Europe. The incumbent, France Telecom (Orange), is one of the world’s major players with interests in markets across Europe and francophone Africa. Despite sector liberalisation, the company still dominates all sectors though increasing competition from a small number of major players (notably SFR and Iliad) has gradually eroded this lead, prompting it to respond with a range of innovative offers and a wide-ranging NeXT strategy to meet future customer needs. It is also investing in a national fibre network, largely in response to the activities of smaller players in this market. The mobile sector is dominated by a triopoly of providers with relatively low but steadily increasing MVNO competition, while the vibrant broadband market has seen strong growth as a result of regulatory measures promoting competitor access to exchanges through local loop unbundling, as well as to fibre infrastructure and ducts.
This report introduces the key aspects of France’s telecom market, providing valuable updated statistics on the country’s fixed network, an analysis of operator strategies in coming years, and a review of the key regulatory issues including the status of number portability, wholesaling and carrier preselection.
Declining fixed-line sector drags telecom revenue down in 2011; FT enters Congolese mobile market; ACE submarine cable connecting France with African markets makes landing; Orange opens its first 400Gb/s per wavelength cable; Vivendi buys out Vodafone’s interest in SFR; FT initiates Conquest 2015 strategy; Orange sets up Orange Horizons subsidiary to exploit potential in new markets; Iliad secures roaming deal with Orange for 2012 Free Mobile launch; telecom investment recovers from 2009 downturn; service revenue falls in 2011 due to contraction of fixed-line sector; regulator considers 10% reduction in LLU charges; FT withdraws from Swiss, Austrian and Portuguese markets; regulator’s market data to end-2012; operator data to Q4 2012; market developments to April 2013.