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France - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

France’s second telco SFR to be rebranded as Altice in 2018

France has the third largest telecoms market in Europe. The incumbent telco Orange Group is one of the world’s major operators, with interests in markets across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Domestically, the company still dominates all sectors despite market liberalisation, though increasing competition from major players such as SFR Group and Iliad has gradually eroded this lead.

The mobile sector is dominated by four providers, Orange, SFR Group, Bouygues Telecom and Free Mobile, complemented by a good number of MVNOs which together have a market share of subscribers approaching 11%. The MNOs 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, having in late 2017 started a procedure to allocate a portion of the 3.5GHz band for 5G in anticipation of that technology coming into commercial use.

France also has one of the largest broadband subscriber bases in Europe. Growth in recent years has been bolstered by demand for high bandwidth services, which has prompted considerable investment in fibre infrastructure among telcos and regional governments. This has been supported by regulatory measures which have promoted access to Orange’s copper and fibre infrastructure for new entrants, as well as a national broadband program which involves an investment of more than €20 billion. Of this sum, telcos are commercially responsible to building out infrastructure affecting almost 60% of the population, with the balance being covered by local government initiatives at cost of about €14 billion. Progress in deployment has been rapid, while the take-up rate among consumers has also increased substantially.

This report introduces the key aspects of France’s telecom market, providing statistics on the 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. The report also assesses the mobile voice and data markets, providing analyses on recent developments related to spectrum licensing and regulatory issues, as also on the deployment of emerging technologies. In addition the report covers the fixed and fixed-wireless 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.

Key developments:

Bouygues completes sale of 600 towers to Cellnex;

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 4,000 towns by mid-2017;

SFR to be rebranded as Altice by mid-2018;

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

Orange Group opens Orange Bank;

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

MVNO market share increases to 10.7% of subscribers;

Government proposes new measures to fill gaps in broadband availability;

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

Report update includes the regulator’s market data to September 2017, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q3 2017, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Orange, Iliad (Free Mobile), SFR Group (Numéricable), Bouygues Telecom, Virgin Mobile, Omea Telecom.


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Country statistics - 2017 (e)
    • Table Telecom revenue and investment statistics - 2017 (e)
    • Table Telephone network statistics - 2017 (e)
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2017 (e)
    • Table Broadband statistics - 2017 (e)
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2017 (e)
    • Table National telecommunications authorities
    • COUNTRY OVERVIEW
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table Telecom service investment - 2002 - 2016
      • 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 - 2017
      • Table Proportion of telecom revenue by sector - 2009 - 2017
      • Table End-user fixed-line market value - 2003 - 2017
      • Table End-user telecom market value annual change - 2003 - 2016
      • Table End-user monthly bill by service - 2010 - 2017
      • Table Fixed lines subscriptions by type - 2003 - 2016
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • HISTORY
    • NATIONAL LEGAL FRAMEWORK
    • FRANCE NUMERIQUE 2012
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITY
      • Communications and Postal Regulatory Authority (ARCEP)
    • TELECOM SECTOR LIBERALISATION
      • Privatisation of Orange Group
      • Interconnect
        • Table Interconnect revenue - 2007 - 2016
        • Table Interconnect traffic - 2007 - 2016
      • Access
        • Table Unbundled and bitstream lines - 2002 - 2017
        • Table Orange wholesale broadband lines - 2005 - 2017
      • Number Portability (NP)
        • Table Fixed numbers ported annually - 2005 - 2015
      • Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
        • Table Indirect connections - 2006 - 2015
  • FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS
    • ORANGE GROUP
      • Table Orange customers by sector (France) - 2006 - 2017
      • Table Orange retail voice lines - 2007 - 2017
      • Table Orange Group financial data by sector - 2008 - 2017
      • Table Orange (domestic) financial data - 2007 - 2017
      • Table Orange (domestic) telecom capex - 2008 - 2017
      • Table Orange retail and wholesale lines - 2006 - 2017
      • Essentials 2020
    • SFR GROUP
      • Table SFR Group subscribers - 2006 - 2017
      • Table SFR Group financial data - 2005 - 2017
      • Table SFR Group telecom capex - 2008 - 2017
    • FREE (ILIAD)
      • Table Free revenue by business line - 2006 - 2017
      • Table Free DSL, LLU subscribers - 2005 - 2014
      • Table Free subscribers by sector - 2011 - 2017
    • BOUYGUES TELECOM
      • Table Bouygues Telecom subscribers by sector - 2005- 2017
      • Table Bouygues Telecom financial data - 2005 - 2017
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK
      • Table Fixed-lines in service - 2011 - 2017
      • Table Proportion of fixed lines by technology - 2004 - 2017
    • INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Submarine cable networks
      • Satellite networks
      • Cloud services
    • SMART INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Internet of Things (IoT)
      • Smart Cities
  • BROADBAND MARKET
    • INTRODUCTION AND STATISTICAL OVERVIEW
      • Market analysis
      • 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 connections - 2011 - 2017
        • Table Broadband penetration by technology - 2007 - 2016
        • Table Historic - Internet users and penetration rate - 1995 - 2009
        • Table Internet users and penetration rate - 2010 - 2018
        • 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 - 2018; 2020; 2022
        • Table Forecast broadband subscribers -- 2018; 2020; 2022
      • Regulatory issues
    • HYBRID FIBRE COAX (HFC) NETWORKS
      • Table Cable modem subscribers - 2000 - 2017
    • DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (DSL) NETWORKS
      • Table DSL subscribers - 2000 - 2018
      • Orange
        • Table Orange DSL subscribers - 2005 - 2017
        • Table Free broadband revenue - 2006 - 2017
        • Table Free broadband subscribers - 2005 - 2017
        • Table Free broadband subscriber ARPU - 2013 - 2017
        • Table SFR broadband subscribers by type - 2013 - 2017
        • Table SFR broadband homes passed - 2009 - 2017
        • Table SFR revenue - 2005 - 2017
        • Table SFR annualised ARPU by broadband service - 2013 - 2017
        • Table Bouygues Telecom broadband subscribers - 2010- 2017
    • FIBRE-TO-THE-PREMISES (FTTP) NETWORKS
      • Introduction
      • Statistics
        • Table FttP equipped and passed buildings - 2008 - 2017
        • Table FttP subscribers - 2013 - 2017
      • Orange
        • Table Orange fibre subscribers - 2006 - 2017
      • Iliad (Free)
      • SFR Group
      • Bouygues Telecom
        • Table Bouygues Telecom fibre subscribers - 2015 - 2017
      • Municipal projects
      • Fibre network sharing
        • Table Network shared FttP passed premises by operator - 2015 - 2017
    • OTHER FIXED BROADBAND SERVICES
      • Broadband Powerline (BPL)
      • Fixed wireless (Wi-Fi and WiMAX)
      • WiMAX
      • WLAN/Wi-Fi
        • Table Orange satellite broadband subscribers - 2008 - 2017
  • 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 - 2017
        • Table Historic - Mobile subscribers (national, old format incl. M2M) and penetration rate - 1999 - 2014
        • Table Mobile subscribers (national) and penetration rate - 2013 - 2018
        • Table Mobile services traffic in minutes - 1998 - 2017
        • Table Mobile voice traffic in minutes by type (quarterly) - 2006 - 2017
        • Table Annual mobile voice traffic by type - 2008 - 2017
        • Table Mobile operator market share - 2005 - 2016
        • Table Prepaid and contract subscribers (old format national, incl. M2M) - 2005 - 2014
        • Table Prepaid and contract subscribers (national, excl. M2M) - 2011 - 2017
        • Table Proportion of prepaid versus contract subscribers - 1999 - 2017
      • Mobile voice
      • Mobile data
        • Table Data market revenue by type (historic) - 2002 - 2012
        • Table Mobile data traffic (TB) - 2008 - 2017
        • Table Average mobile data traffic per 3G/LTE subscriber - 2011 - 2016
        • Table Mobile data traffic from LTE networks - 2016 - 2017
        • Table Average mobile data traffic per mobile subscriber - 2011 - 2016
        • Table SMS traffic volume (national) - 2004 - 2017
        • Table Annual SMS volume (national) - 2003 - 2017
        • Table Annual MMS volume - 2000 - 2017
      • Mobile broadband
        • Table Active mobile broadband subscribers - 2007 - 2016
        • Table Dedicated mobile broadband subscribers - 2007 - 2017
      • Forecasts - mobile subscribers - 2018; 2020; 2022
        • Table Forecast - mobile subscribers - 2018; 2020; 2022
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
      • Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
        • Table 2.6GHz spectrum results - Sep 2011
      • Network sharing
      • Mobile termination rates (MTRs)
        • Table Mobile termination charges - 2005 - 2013
        • Table Mobile interconnection revenue - 2003 - 2017
      • Roaming
        • Table European roaming charges - 2007 - 2016
        • Table Mobile roaming out revenue and traffic in minutes - 2003 - 2017
        • Table European data roaming charges - 2014 - 2017
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
        • Table Annual mobile numbers ported - 2004 - 2017
    • MOBILE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Digital networks
        • Table 2G base stations in service by operator - November 2017
      • Third Generation (3G) mobile
        • Table 3G base stations in service by operator - November 2017
        • Table Active 3G subscribers and proportion of total - 2007 - 2017
      • Long-term Evolution (LTE)
        • Table Active LTE subscribers and proportion of total - 2014 - 2017
        • Table Free mobile LTE subscribers - 2014 - 2017
      • 5G
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Table Orange mobile subscribers (France) - 2005 - 2017
      • Table Orange blended, contract, prepaid ARPU (Q4) - 2005 - 2017
      • Table Orange mobile consumer revenue - 2005 - 2017
      • Table Orange mobile revenue by type - 2011 - 2017
      • Table Orange mobile customer churn - 2003 - 2017
      • Table Orange mobile customer acquisition costs - 2007 - 2016
      • SFR Group
        • Table SFR mobile annualised ARPU - 2005 - 2017
        • Table SFR revenue (historic) - 2004 - 2013
        • Table SFR mobile revenue (under Altice) - 2015 - 2017
        • Table SFR subscribers - 2006 - 2017
      • Free Mobile
        • Table Free Mobile mobile subscribers - 2012 - 2017
        • Table Free Mobile mobile revenue - 2012 - 2017
      • Bouygues Telecom
        • Table Bouygues Telecom subscribers - 2005 - 2017
        • Table Bouygues Telecom mobile ARPU - 2007 - 2017
        • Table Bouygues Telecom financial data by type - 2005 - 2017
      • MVNOs
        • Table MNO and MVNO subscribers (metropolitan) - 2005 - 2017
        • Table MVNO market share (metropolitan) - 2005 - 2017
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • m-payments
      • m-banking
    • MACHINE-TO-MACHINE (M2M)
      • Table M2M cards in use - 2011 - 2017
      • Table Revenue from M2M cards - 2009 - 2017

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