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France - Mobile Market Insights, Statistics and Forecasts


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

The French mobile phone market is one of the largest in Europe, worth some €18.5 billion in 2008. Three network operators offer the full range of telephony and data services, while a growing number of MVNOs provide competition in the low-cost sector. France Telecom’s Orange and the Vodafone-Vivendi-owned SFR dominate the market, while the third player Bouygues Telecom has won an increasing share of new subscribers since 2005, and has recently signed a number of prominent MVNO deals. All three network operators offer 3G services, which have become popular following the introduction of unlimited data offerings Their investment in HSPA upgrades has also spurred the development of the mobile broadband sector. A fourth 3G licensee, Free Mobile, launched commercial services in 2012. This report provides key statistics on the French mobile market in 2011, including spectrum licensing and regulatory issues, as well as a profile of major players and their strategies in an increasingly fierce competitive market. It also provides ARPU forecasts to 2015.

Key developments:

Auction for 2.6GHz frequency licences completed; national 4G availability envisaged for early 2012; Vodafone finalises sale to Vivendi of 44% interest in SFR; Bouygues Telecom joins the Telefónica Partners Program; Omea (Virgin Mobile) becomes the first full MVNO in France; MVNO market shows 35% growth in subscribers in Q4 2011; Virgin Mobile launches quad-play service; MNP process reduced to three days; Bouygues Telecom launches B&You mobile service including VoIP via WiFi; MTRs set to 2013 but EC challenges two-price policy; Bouygues Telecom buy’s KPN’s MVNO Simyo; Orange launches low-cost brand; regulator market data for 2012; operator data to Q4 2012; market developments to April 2013.

Companies covered in this report include:

Orange, SFR, Free Mobile, Bouygues Telecom.


1. Synopsis
2. Overview of France’s mobile market
2.1 Mobile statistics
2.2 Operator market shares
3. Regulatory issues
3.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
3.1.1 GSM
3.1.2 3G Licensing – round one
3.1.3 3G Licensing – round two
3.1.4 3G Licensing – round three
3.1.5 900 and 1800MHz frequencies
3.1.6 Public Analogue Mobile Radio (PAMR)
3.1.7 800MHz
3.1.8 2.6GHz
3.1.9 Network sharing
3.2 Mobile termination rates (MTR)
3.3 SMS interconnection
3.4 Roaming
3.5 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
3.6 Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC)
4. Mobile technologies
4.1 Digital
4.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile
5. Major mobile operators
5.1 Orange
5.1.1 JV with Deutsche Telekom (DT)
5.2 SFR
5.2.1 Network contracts
5.3 Free Mobile
5.4 Bouygues Telecom
5.4.1 Network contracts
5.5 MVNOs
6. Mobile voice services
6.1 Prepaid
7. Forecasts
7.1 Forecasts – mobile ARPU – 2009-2015
7.2 Notes on scenario forecasts
8. Related reports
Table 1 – Mobile sector investment – 2007 - 2013
Table 2 – Total mobile revenue – 2006 - 2014
Table 3 – Average monthly bill, ARPU - 2006 - 2012
Table 4 – Mobile subscribers (national) and penetration rate – 1999 - 2013
Table 5 – Mobile services revenue and traffic in minutes – 1998 - 2013
Table 6 – Mobile service revenue by type; annual change – 2011 - 2012
Table 7 – Data as proportion of mobile service revenue – 2004 - 2014
Table 8 – Mobile voice traffic in minutes – 2006 - 2012
Table 9 – Mobile operator market share – 2005 - 2012
Table 10 – Mobile termination charges – 2005 - 2013
Table 11 – Mobile interconnection revenue – 2003 - 2012
Table 12 – European roaming charges – 2007 - 2011
Table 13 – Mobile roaming in revenue and traffic in minutes – 2003 - 2012
Table 14 – Annual mobile numbers ported – 2004 – 2012
Table 15 – Active 3G subscribers and annual change – 2007 - 2012
Table 16 – Orange mobile subscribers (France) – 2005 - 2012
Table 17 – Orange voice and data ARPU (Q4) – 2005 – 2012
Table 18 – Orange blended, contract, prepaid ARPU (Q4) – 2005 - 2012
Table 19 – Orange mobile consumer revenue – 2005 - 2012
Table 20 – Orange mobile customer churn – 2003 – 2012
Table 21 – Orange mobile customer acquisition costs – 2007 - 2012
Table 22 – SFR mobile annualised ARPU – 2005 - 2012
Table 23 – SFR revenue – 2004 - 2012
Table 24 – SFR subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Table 25 – Bouygues Telecom subscribers – 2005 - 2012
Table 26 – Bouygues Telecom financial data – 2005 - 2012
Table 27 – MNO and MVNO subscribers (metropolitan) – 2005 - 2012
Table 28 – MVNO market share (metropolitan) – 2005 - 2013
Table 29 – Prepaid and contract subscribers (national) – 2005 – 2012
Table 30 – Percentage of prepaid versus contract subscribers – 1999 - 2012
Table 31 – Forecast mobile ARPU – 2005 - 2015
Chart 1 – Average monthly bill and ARPU - 2006 – 2012
Chart 2 – Mobile subscribers (national) and penetration rate – 2004 – 2013
Chart 3 – Mobile services revenue (voice) and traffic in minutes – 2003 – 2013
Chart 4 – Mobile voice traffic in minutes – 2006 – 2012
Chart 5 – Mobile operator market share – 2005 – 2012
Chart 6 – Mobile termination charges – 2005 - 2013
Chart 7 – Mobile roaming in revenue and traffic in minutes – 2003 - 2012
Chart 8 - Active 3G subscribers and annual change – 2007 – 2012
Chart 9 – Orange mobile subscribers (France) – 2005 – 2012
Chart 10 – Orange voice and data ARPU (Q4) – 2005 – 2012
Chart 11 – Orange blended, contract, prepaid ARPU – 2005 – 2012
Chart 12 – Orange mobile customer acquisition costs – 2007 - 2012
Chart 13 – SFR revenue – 2005 - 2012
Chart 14 – SFR subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Chart 15 – Bouygues Telecom financial data – 2005 – 2012
Chart 16 – MNO, MVNO subscribers (metropolitan) – 2005 - 2012
Chart 17 – Prepaid and contract subscribers (national) – 2005 – 2012
Exhibit 1 – 3G licensees
Exhibit 2 – Operating MVNOs and network provider – 2013

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