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


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

The French mobile phone market is one of the largest in Europe. The network operators Orange, SFR Group, Bouygues Telecom and Free Mobile 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, issuing two 5G trial licences for use of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band in anticipation of that technology coming into commercial use from 2019.

Competition among the MNOs and a large number of MVNOs has caused mobile services revenue to fall steadily. This pressure 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 assess 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:

Altice considers sale of SFR unit;
Bouygues and SFR permitted to use 2.1GHz spectrum for LTE;
Orange partners with Ericsson and Nokia to develop a path to 5G;
Orange Group opens Orange Bank;
Regulator consults on revised guidelines for mobile network sharing;
Regulator progresses with 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz spectrum use for 5G;
MVNO market share increases to 11.1% of subscribers;
Virgin Mobile merges operations with SFR;
Report update includes the regulator's market data to March 2018, operator data to Q1 2018, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

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


1. Synopsis
2. Market analysis
3. Mobile statistics
3.1 General statistics
4. Mobile infrastructure
4.1 5G
4.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
4.2.1 Bouygues Telecom
4.2.2 SFR
4.2.3 Orange
4.2.4 Free Mobile
4.3 Third Generation (3G) mobile
4.4 GSM
5. Machine-to-Machine (M2M)
6. Mobile voice
6.1 Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE)
7. Mobile data
7.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
7.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
8. Mobile broadband
9. Forecasts mobile subscribers 2019; 2021; 2023
10. Regulatory issues
10.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
10.1.1 GSM
10.1.2 3G Licensing round one
10.1.3 700MHz
10.1.4 800MHz
10.1.5 2.6GHz
10.1.6 900MHz
10.1.7 1800MHz
10.1.8 2.3GHz shared spectrum
10.1.9 2
10.1.10 3.5Hz
10.1.11 Spectrum reassignment June 2018
10.2 Network sharing
10.3 Mobile termination rates (MTRs)
10.4 Roaming
10.5 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
11. Major mobile operators
11.1 Orange
11.2 SFR Group
11.3 Free Mobile
11.4 Bouygues Telecom
11.5 MVNOs
12. Mobile content and applications
12.1 m-payments
12.2 m-banking
13. Related reports
Table 1 Mobile sector investment 2007 - 2016
Table 2 Investment in 3G and LTE infrastructure 2013 - 2017
Table 3 Mobile retail revenue 1998 - 2017
Table 4 Average monthly bill, ARPU - 2006 - 2017
Table 5 Historic - Mobile subscribers (national, old format incl. M2M) and penetration rate 1999 - 2014
Table 6 Mobile subscribers (national) and penetration rate 2013 - 2019
Table 7 Mobile services traffic in minutes 1998 - 2017
Table 8 Mobile voice traffic in minutes by type (quarterly) 2006 - 2017
Table 9 Annual mobile voice traffic by type 2008 2017
Table 10 Mobile operator market share 2005 - 2016
Table 11 Prepaid and contract subscribers (old format national, incl. M2M) 2005 2014
Table 12 Prepaid and contract subscribers (national, excl. M2M) 2011 2017
Table 13 Proportion of prepaid versus contract subscribers 1999 - 2017
Table 14 Active LTE subscribers and proportion of total 2014 - 2017
Table 15 Free Mobile LTE subscribers 2014 2018
Table 16 Free Mobile average LTE data use 2015 2018
Table 17 3G base stations in service by operator November 2017
Table 18 Active 3G subscribers and proportion of total 2007 - 2017
Table 19 2G base stations in service by operator November 2017
Table 20 M2M cards in use 2011 - 2017
Table 21 Revenue from M2M cards 2009 - 2017
Table 22 Data market revenue by type (historic) 2002 - 2012
Table 23 Mobile data traffic (TB) 2008 - 2017
Table 24 Average mobile data traffic per 3G/LTE subscriber 2011 - 2016
Table 25 Mobile data traffic from LTE networks 2016 - 2017
Table 26 Average mobile data traffic per mobile subscriber 2011 - 2017
Table 27 SMS traffic volume (national) 2004 - 2017
Table 28 Annual SMS volume (national) 2003 - 2017
Table 29 Annual MMS volume 2000 - 2017
Table 30 Active mobile broadband subscribers 2007 - 2016
Table 31 Dedicated mobile broadband subscribers 2007 - 2017
Table 32 Forecast - mobile subscribers - 2019; 2021; 2023
Table 33 2.6GHz spectrum results Sep 2011
Table 34 Mobile termination charges 2005 - 2013
Table 35 Mobile interconnection revenue 2003 - 2017
Table 37 Mobile roaming out voice traffic 2003 - 2017
Table 38 European data roaming charges 2014 - 2017
Table 39 Annual mobile numbers ported 2004 2018
Table 40 Orange mobile subscribers (France) 2005 - 2018
Table 41 Orange blended, contract, prepaid ARPU (Q4) 2005 - 2017
Table 42 Orange blended, contract, prepaid ARPO (Q4) 2017 - 2018
Table 43 Orange mobile revenue by type 2011 - 2017
Table 44 Orange mobile revenue by type (new style) 2016 - 2018
Table 45 Orange mobile customer churn 2003 2018
Table 46 Orange mobile customer acquisition costs 2007 - 2016
Table 47 SFR mobile annualised ARPU 2005 - 2018
Table 48 SFR revenue (historic) 2004 - 2013
Table 49 SFR mobile revenue (under Altice) 2015 - 2018
Table 50 SFR subscribers 2006 - 2018
Table 51 Free Mobile mobile subscribers 2012 - 2018
Table 52 Free Mobile mobile revenue 2012 - 2018
Table 53 Bouygues Telecom subscribers 2005 - 2018
Table 54 Bouygues Telecom mobile ARPU 2007 - 2018
Table 55 Bouygues Telecom financial data by type 2005 - 2017
Table 56 MNO and MVNO subscribers (metropolitan) 2005 - 2018
Table 57 MVNO market share (metropolitan) 2005 - 2018
Chart 1 Average monthly bill and ARPU - 2006 2017
Chart 2 Mobile subscribers (national) and penetration rate 2011 2019
Chart 3 Mobile operator market share 2005 2016
Chart 4 Active 3G subscribers and proportion of total 2007 - 2017
Chart 5 Orange mobile subscribers (France) 2005 2018
Chart 6 Orange blended, contract, prepaid ARPU 2005 2017
Chart 7 Orange mobile customer acquisition costs 2007 - 2016
Chart 8 SFR subscribers 2006 - 2018
Chart 9 MNO, MVNO subscribers (metropolitan) 2005 - 2018
Exhibit 1 3G licensees
Exhibit 2 Operating MVNOs and network provider

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