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France - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

France - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

France’s telecom sector shows strong return to investment

France has the third largest telecoms market in Europe after Germany and the UK. The incumbent telco Orange Group is one of the world’s major players with interests in markets across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The company recently embarked on its five-year ‘Essentials 2020’ program which is focussed on emerging markets as well as on investments in super-fast broadband and LTE infrastructure within its European footprint. Despite market liberalisation, the company still dominates all sectors though increasing competition from a number of major players (notably SFR Group 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.

In the broadband market subscriber growth has been bolstered by demand for high bandwidth applications, prompting considerable investment in fibre infrastructure among telcos and regional governments. The pro-competitive regulator has also promoted access to Orange’s DSL network and fibre networks for new entrants. In early 2017 the regulator considered a range of measures to improve access to Orange’s networks.

DSL still dominates the broadband market in terms of access lines, though in 2016 the number of DSL lines began to fall for the first time as customers were migrated to fibre infrastructure. Fibre deployments have grown substantially in recent years, with all of the major ISPs concentrating their investments in fibre with a view to promoting 1Gb/s services. Although the cable footprint only reaches about 40% of the population, the dominant cableco SFR Group has upgraded its network to compete with DSL and has itself entered the DSL and fibre markets. By September 2016 SFR had 1.97 million customers served by fibre.

The French mobile phone market is also 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 had extensive coverage by early 2017, while both Orange and Bouygues Telecom are involved in 5G trials. The regulator has also been supportive, having licensed spectrum in the 2.5GHz and 3.5GHz bands since mid-2016. In early 2017 it opened a consultation with a view to releasing spectrum in these bands for mobile broadband use while retaining a portion of the 3.5G band for 5G in anticipation of that technology coming into commercial use from about 2018. The mobile sector is dominated by four providers, complemented by an increasing number of MVNOs which together had a market share of around 11% of subscribers by early 2017.

This report introduces the key aspects of France’s telecom market, providing updated 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. In addition the report assesses the fixed broadband market, focussing on cable, DSL and the fast-developing FttP/C sectors. It reviews the strategies of the principal providers such as Orange, Iliad and SFR Group, and considers the regulatory status of LLU and access to fibre infrastructure. The report also evaluates the mobile voice and data markets, assessing recent developments related to spectrum licensing and regulatory issues and providing profiles of the major players and MVNOs, including statistics on their operating and financial performance as well as their strategies in an increasingly fierce competitive market.

Key developments:

Bouygues Telecom sets up Objenious subsidiary dedicated to the Internet of Things;

Ireland-France Cable-1 system set to begin construction;

Orange’s LoRa network available in 2,600 towns by February 2017;

Orange sets up Orange Horizons subsidiary to exploit potential in new markets, sets out five-year Essentials 2020 strategy;

Telecom sector investment recovers from 2009 downturn;

SFR Group increases footprint of its 1Gb/s FttP service;

DSL subscriber base begins to fall;

Orange partners with Ericsson and Nokia to develop a path to 5G;

MNOs make progress on mobile dead zones coverage;

Regulator proposes mobile broadband use for 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz band spectrum;

Bouygues Telecom completes sale of 500 towers on lease-back arrangement;

MVNO market share approaches 11% of subscribers;

Cdiscount launches videostreaming service;

Orange launches OTT HDMI dongle for access to Orange streaming services;

Report update includes the regulator’s market data to September 2016, telcos’ financial and operating data to Q3 2016, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:



Orange, Iliad, SFR Group (SFR, Numéricable), Orange, Iliad, Bouygues Telecom, Vivendi, TPS, AB Group, TNTSat, Canal+, Orange, Free Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Omea Telecom.


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Country statistics - 2016 (e)
    • Table Telecom revenue and investment statistics - 2015
    • Table Telephone network statistics - 2016 (e)
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2016 (e)
    • Table Broadband statistics - 2016 (e)
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2016 (e)
    • Table National telecommunications authorities
    • COUNTRY OVERVIEW
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table Telecom service investment - 2002 - 2015
      • Table End-user traffic volume in minutes by sector - 2002 - 2016
      • Table End-user traffic growth by sector - 2002 - 2016
      • Table Telecom market revenue by sector - 2008 - 2016
      • Table Proportion of telecom revenue by sector - 2009 - 2016
      • Table Telecom market revenue by sector - 2008 - 2016
      • Table End-user fixed-line market value - 2003 - 2016
      • Table End-user telecom market value annual change - 2003 - 2015
      • Table End-user monthly bill by service - 2010 - 2016
      • Table Fixed lines subscriptions by type - 2003 - 2016
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • HISTORY
      • EU regulatory framework
      • Revised NFR
    • NATIONAL LEGAL FRAMEWORK
    • FRANCE NUMERIQUE 2012
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITY
      • Communications and Postal Regulatory Authority (ARCEP)
    • TELECOM SECTOR LIBERALISATION IN FRANCE
      • Privatisation of France Telecom
      • Interconnect
        • Table Interconnect revenue - 2007 - 2016
        • Table Interconnect traffic - 2007 - 2016
      • Access
        • Table Unbundled lines - 2009 - 2016
        • Table Bitstream and naked DSL lines - 2009 - 2016
      • Number Portability (NP)
        • Table Fixed numbers ported annually - 2005 - 2015
      • Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
        • Table Indirect connections - 2006 - 2015
  • FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS
    • MARKET OVERVIEW
    • ORANGE
      • Table Orange customers by sector (France) - 2006 - 2016
      • Table Orange retail voice lines - 2007 - 2016
      • Table Orange Group financial data by sector - 2008 - 2016
      • Table Orange (domestic) financial data - 2007 - 2016
      • Table Orange (domestic) telecom capex - 2008 - 2016
      • Table Orange retail and wholesale lines - 2006 - 2016
      • International strategies
      • Essentials 2020
    • SFR GROUP (FORMERLY NUMÉRICABLE-SFR)
      • Table SFR Group subscribers - 2006 - 2016
      • Table SFR Group financial data - 2005 - 2016
      • Table SFR Group telecom capex - 2008 - 2016
      • Acquisitions
      • Numéricable merger with SFR
    • FREE (ILIAD)
      • Table Free revenue by business line - 2006 - 2016
      • Table Free telecom capex - 2007 - 2014
      • Table Free DSL, LLU subscribers - 2005 - 2014
      • Table Free subscribers by sector - 2011 - 2016
    • BOUYGUES TELECOM
      • Table Bouygues Telecom subscribers by sector - 2005- 2016
      • Table Bouygues Telecom financial data - 2005 - 2016
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK
      • Table Fixed-lines in service - 2011 - 2017
      • Table Proportion of fixed lines by technology - 2004 - 2016
    • INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Submarine cable networks
      • Satellite networks
      • Wholesaling
        • Table Orange wholesale broadband lines - 2005 - 2016
      • Cloud services
    • SMART INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Internet of Things (IoT)
      • Smart Cities
  • BROADBAND MARKET
    • INTRODUCTION AND STATISTICAL OVERVIEW
      • Market analysis
        • Table Internet access and device ownership by platform - 1997 - 2015
      • Broadband statistics
        • Table Dial-up internet subscribers - 2005 - 2015
        • Table Dial-up internet traffic - 2005 - 2014
        • Table Broadband subscribers by type and penetration - 2000 - 2017
        • Table Superfast broadband eligible premises - 2000 - 2016
        • Table Superfast broadband connections - 2011 - 2016
        • Table Broadband penetration by technology - 2007 - 2015
        • Table Historic - Internet users and penetration rate - 1995 - 2009
        • Table Internet users and penetration rate - 2010 - 2017
        • Table Internet subscribers - 2008 - 2017
        • Table Historic - Percentage of households with internet access - 1997 - 2009
        • Table Percentage of households with internet access - 2010 - 2017
      • Forecasts - broadband subscribers - 2016; 2018; 2021
        • Table Forecast broadband subscribers -- 2016; 2018; 2021
      • Regulatory issues
        • Table Unbundled and bitstream lines - 2009 - 2016
    • HYBRID FIBRE COAX (HFC) NETWORKS
      • Table Cable modem subscribers - 2000 - 2016
      • Table Cable modem premises passed by data speed - 2000 - 2015
      • Cable network agreements
      • Cable consolidation
      • Numéricable
    • DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (DSL) NETWORKS
      • Table DSL subscribers - 2000 - 2016
      • Orange
        • Table Orange DSL subscribers - 2005 - 2016
      • Free (Iliad)
        • Table Free broadband revenue - 2006 - 2016
        • Table Free broadband subscribers - 2005 - 2016
        • Table Free broadband subscriber ARPU - 2013 - 2016
        • Table Free proportion unbundled subscribers - 2005 - 2014
      • SFR
        • Table Historic - SFR broadband subscribers - 2004 - 2012
        • Table Numéricable-SFR broadband subscribers - 2013 - 2016
        • Table SFR broadband homes passed - 2009 - 2016
        • Table SFR revenue - 2005 - 2016
        • Table SFR annualised ARPU by broadband service - 2013 - 2015
      • Bouygues Telecom
        • Table Bouygues Telecom broadband subscribers - 2010- 2016
      • ADSL2+
      • READSL2
      • Very High Data Rate Digital Subscriber Line (VDSL)
        • Table VDSL premises passed (30Mb/s) - 2013 - 2015
      • Symmetric Digital Subscriber Lines (SDSL)
      • Vectored DSL
    • FIBRE-TO-THE-PREMISES (FTTP) NETWORKS
      • Introduction
      • Legislation
      • Government measures
      • Government support to 2025
      • Regional support
      • Statistics
        • Table High-speed broadband lines, by data rate - 2008 - 2016
        • Table FttP equipped and passed buildings - 2008 - 2015
        • Table FttP subscribers - 2013 - 2016
      • Orange
        • Table Orange fibre subscribers - 2006 - 2016
      • Iliad (Free)
      • SFR Group
      • Bouygues Telecom
      • British Telecom (BT)
      • Municipal projects
      • Pau
      • Other municipal projects
      • Fibre network sharing
        • Table Orange network used for through network sharing - 2010 - 2015
        • Table FttP premises connected through network sharing - 2010 - 2015
    • OTHER FIXED BROADBAND SERVICES
      • Broadband Powerline (BPL)
      • Fixed wireless (Wi-Fi and WiMAX)
      • Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
      • WiMAX
      • WLAN/Wi-Fi
        • Table Orange satellite broadband subscribers - 2008 - 2016
  • DIGITAL MEDIA
    • INTRODUCTION
    • KEY DIGITAL MEDIA PLAYERS
      • Orange
      • Canal+
      • Iliad (Free)
      • Bouygues Telecom
      • SFR Group (Numéricable-SFR)
      • Other operators
    • VIDEOSTREAMING
      • Table DSL based IPTV subscribers, proportion of total IPTV base - 2004 - 2016
      • Orange
        • Table Orange IPTV/satellite subscribers - 2005 - 2016
      • SFR Group
      • Free
      • Bouygues Telecom
      • Other players
    • COMMUNICATIONS: VOIP
      • Table VoIP lines and traffic in minutes - 2004 - 2016
      • Table VoIP traffic as proportion to all traffic - 2004 - 2016
      • Table Orange VoIP and Livebox subscribers - 2005 - 2016
    • OTHER DIGITAL MEDIA SERVICES
      • Introduction
      • Interactive TV (iTV)
      • Cable TV (CATV)
      • Cable consolidation
    • SATELLITE-BASED DIGITAL PAY TV DEVELOPMENTS
      • Table Proportion of TV reception by platform -2009 - 2014
      • Canal+
        • Table Canal+ Group revenue - 2005 - 2016
        • Table Canal + subscribers - 2006 - 2016
      • TPS
      • GlobeCast
      • Orange
      • AB Group
      • TNTSat
      • SFR Group
    • DIGITAL TERRESTRIAL TV (DTTV)
      • Introduction
      • Regulatory framework
      • Digital switchover
      • Digital dividend
      • DTTV launched
  • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table Mobile sector investment - 2007 - 2016
    • MOBILE STATISTICS
      • General statistics
        • Table Mobile retail revenue - 1998 - 2017
        • Table Average monthly bill, ARPU - 2006 - 2016
        • Table Historic - Mobile subscribers (national, old format incl. M2M) and penetration rate - 1999 – 2014
        • Table Mobile subscribers (national) and penetration rate - 2013 - 2017
        • Table Mobile services traffic in minutes - 1998 - 2016
        • Table Mobile voice traffic in minutes by type (quarterly) - 2006 - 2016
        • Table Annual mobile voice traffic by type - 2008 - 2015
        • Table Mobile operator market share - 2005 - 2016
        • Table Prepaid and contract subscribers (old format national, incl. M2M) - 2005 - 2014
        • Table Proportion of prepaid versus contract subscribers - 1999 - 2016
        • Table Prepaid and contract subscribers (national, excl. M2M) - 2011 - 2016
      • Mobile voice
      • Mobile data
        • Table Data market revenue - 2002 - 2014
        • Table Data as proportion of mobile service revenue - 2004 - 2015
        • Table Mobile data traffic (TB) - 2008 - 2017
        • Table Average mobile data traffic per 3G/LTE subscriber - 2011 - 2016
        • Table Average mobile data traffic per mobile subscriber - 2011 - 2016
        • Table SMS traffic volume (national) - 2004 - 2016
        • Table Annual SMS volume (national) - 2003 - 2016
        • Table Annual MMS volume - 2000 - 2016
      • Mobile broadband
        • Table Active mobile broadband subscribers - 2007 - 2016
        • Table Dedicated mobile broadband subscribers - 2007 - 2017
      • Forecasts - mobile subscribers - 2016; 2018; 2021
        • Table Forecast - mobile subscribers - 2016; 2018; 2021
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
      • Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
        • Table 3G licensees
      • 900MHz
      • 1800MHz
      • 2.3GHz shared spectrum
      • 2.6GHz
        • Table 2.6GHz spectrum results - Sep 2011
      • Network sharing
      • Mobile termination rates (MTR)
        • Table Mobile termination charges - 2005 - 2013
        • Table Mobile interconnection revenue - 2003 - 2016
      • SMS interconnection
      • Roaming
        • Table European roaming charges - 2007 - 2016
        • Table Mobile roaming in revenue and traffic in minutes - 2003 - 2016
        • Table European data roaming charges - 2014 - 2017
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
        • Table Annual mobile numbers ported - 2004 - 2016
      • Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC)
    • MOBILE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Digital networks
        • Table 2G base stations in service by operator - February 2016
      • Third Generation (3G) mobile
        • Table 3G base stations in service by operator - February 2016
        • Table Active 3G subscribers and proportion of total - 2007 - 2016
      • Long-term Evolution (LTE)
        • Table Active LTE subscribers and proportion of total - 2014 - 2016
      • 5G
      • Other infrastructure developments
        • Table Operators GPRS and GPRS/Wi-Fi launch dates
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Orange
        • Table Orange mobile subscribers (France) - 2005 - 2016
        • Table Orange blended, contract, prepaid ARPU (Q4) - 2005 - 2016
        • Table Orange mobile consumer revenue - 2005 - 2016
        • Table Orange mobile customer churn - 2003 - 2016
        • Table Orange mobile customer acquisition costs - 2007 - 2016
      • SFR Group
        • Table SFR mobile annualised ARPU - 2005 - 2015
        • Table SFR revenue (historic) - 2004 - 2013
        • Table SFR subscribers - 2006 - 2016
      • Free Mobile
        • Table Free Mobile mobile subscribers - 2012 - 2016
        • Table Free Mobile mobile revenue - 2012 - 2016
      • Bouygues Telecom
        • Table Bouygues Telecom subscribers - 2005 - 2016
        • Table Bouygues Telecom mobile ARPU - 2007 - 2016
        • Table Bouygues Telecom financial data - 2005 - 2016
      • MVNOs
        • Table MNO and MVNO subscribers (metropolitan) - 2005 - 2016
        • Table MVNO market share (metropolitan) - 2005 - 2016
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • Location based services
      • Near Field Communication (NFC)
      • Mobile satellite services
      • m-payments
      • m-banking
    • MACHINE-TO-MACHINE (M2M)
      • Table M2M cards in use - 2011 - 2015
      • Table Average monthly revenue from M2M cards - 2011 - 2015
      • Table Revenue from M2M cards - 2011 - 2016

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