France - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts
Mobile market price competition leads to further consolidation
France has one of the largest telecoms market in Europe, supported by a population of around 63 million. The incumbent, France Telecom/Orange, is one of the world’s major players with interests in markets across Europe, the Middle East and francophone Africa. The telco’s market dominance has been eroded through increasing competition from a number of major players, in turn encouraging it to invest in a national fibre network to improve its network capabilities and consumer offerings.
France has the third largest broadband subscriber base in Europe. DSL dominates broadband access, and though the cable footprint only reaches about 40% of the population the main cableco Numéricable has upgraded its network to compete with DSL, and has itself entered the DSL market through the acquisition of DSL-based market players. Fibre deployment has developed a significant and growing market presence in recent years, supported by an effective regulatory and legislative regime which promotes fibre network sharing and optimises operators’ investment strategies.
France is also one of Europe’s key markets for telecom convergence and bundled services, and has Europe’s largest IPTV sector. The success of service bundles largely rests on fierce competition which has reduced the cost of bundles while raising the quantity and quality of services offered.
The mobile phone market, worth some €15 billion in 2013, has undergone significant changes in recent years. The regulator was keen to promote the entry of a new player, and the subsequent efforts of Free Mobile resulted in price competition between the MNOs Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom. SFR became the main casualty of this process, with the operator being sold to Numéricable in early 2014. The deal will go far to introducing further market consolidation and to encouraging operators to provide a full range of services to customers to secure a competitive edge.
SRF and Bouygues Telecom sign network sharing deal; auction for 700MHz anticipated later in 2014; 4G available nationally; Vivendi sells SFR to Altice Group; Bouygues Telecom joins the Telefónica Partners Program; Virgin Mobile launches quad-play service; Bouygues Telecom buy’s KPN’s MVNO Simyo; Vivendi acquires 20% stake in Canal+ France held by Lagardère Group; DVB-T2 standard may be adopted by end-2015; Orange TV migrates to single access platform; regulator consults on FttDP architecture; Free launches 1Gb/s service; Orange invests €2 billion to provide 15 million households with FttP by 2015; regulator consults on 3.5GHs spectrum for broadband use; government promotes €20 billion investment for national FttP network by 2023; Orange signs joint network deals with Iliad, SFR and Bouygues to expand FttP in rural areas; regulator’s market data to December 2013; telcos’ operating data to Q1 2014; market developments to May 2014; regulator’s market data updates to December 2013; operator data to Q1 2014; market developments to May 2014.
Companies and subsidiaries covered in this report include:
France Telecom/Orange, SFR, Free Mobile, Bouygues Telecom, Canal+, Iliad, Numéricable, Vivendi, TPS, AB Group, TNTSat, Canal+.
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year
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