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

  • February 2017
  • -
  • Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd
  • -
  • 150 pages

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.

Table Of Contents

France - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses
1. Key statistics
1.1 Country overview
2. Telecommunications market
2.1 Market analysis
3. Regulatory environment
3.1 History
3.1.1 Revised NFR
3.2 National legal framework
3.3 France NumErique 2012
3.4 Regulatory authority
3.4.1 Communications and Postal Regulatory Authority (ARCEP)
3.5 Telecom sector liberalisation in France
3.5.1 Privatisation of France Telecom
3.5.2 Interconnect
3.5.3 Access
3.5.4 Number Portability (NP)
3.5.5 Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
4. Fixed network operators
4.1 Market overview
4.2 Orange
4.2.1 International strategies
4.2.2 Essentials 2020
4.3 SFR Group (formerly Numericable-SFR)
4.3.1 Acquisitions
4.3.2 Numericable merger with SFR
4.4 Free (Iliad)
4.5 Bouygues Telecom
5. Telecommunications infrastructure
5.1 National telecom network
5.2 International infrastructure
5.2.1 Submarine cable networks
5.2.2 Satellite networks
5.2.3 Wholesaling
5.2.4 Cloud services
5.3 Smart infrastructure
5.3.1 Internet of Things (IoT)
5.3.2 Smart Cities
6. Broadband market
6.1 Introduction and statistical overview
6.1.1 Market analysis
6.1.2 Broadband statistics
6.1.3 Forecasts broadband subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021
6.1.4 Regulatory issues
6.2 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
6.2.1 Cable network agreements
6.2.2 Cable consolidation
6.2.3 Numericable
6.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
6.3.1 Orange
6.3.2 Free (Iliad)
6.3.3 SFR
6.3.4 Bouygues Telecom
6.3.5 ADSL2+
6.3.6 READSL2
6.3.7 Very High Data Rate Digital Subscriber Line (VDSL)
6.3.8 Symmetric Digital Subscriber Lines (SDSL)
6.3.9 Vectored DSL
6.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
6.4.1 Introduction
6.4.2 Legislation
6.4.3 Government measures
6.4.4 Government support to 2025
6.4.5 Regional support
6.4.6 Statistics
6.4.7 Orange
6.4.8 Iliad (Free)
6.4.9 SFR Group
6.4.10 Bouygues Telecom
6.4.11 British Telecom (BT)
6.4.12 Municipal projects
6.4.13 Fibre network sharing
6.5 Other fixed broadband services
6.5.1 Broadband Powerline (BPL)
6.5.2 Fixed wireless (Wi-Fi and WiMAX)
7. Digital media
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Key Digital Media Players
7.2.1 Orange
7.2.2 Canal+
7.2.3 Iliad (Free)
7.2.4 Bouygues Telecom
7.2.5 SFR Group (Numericable-SFR)
7.2.6 Other operators
7.3 Videostreaming
7.3.1 Orange
7.3.2 SFR Group
7.3.3 Free
7.3.4 Bouygues Telecom
7.3.5 Other players
7.4 Communications: VoIP
7.5 Other digital media services
7.5.1 Introduction
7.5.2 Interactive TV (iTV)
7.5.3 Cable TV (CATV)
7.5.4 Cable consolidation
7.6 Satellite-based digital pay TV developments
7.6.1 Canal+
7.6.2 TPS
7.6.3 GlobeCast
7.6.4 Orange
7.6.5 AB Group
7.6.6 TNTSat
7.6.7 SFR Group
7.7 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
7.7.1 Introduction
7.7.2 Regulatory framework
7.7.3 Digital switchover
7.7.4 Digital dividend
7.7.5 DTTV launched
8. Mobile communications
8.1 Market analysis
8.2 Mobile statistics
8.2.1 General statistics
8.2.2 Mobile voice
8.2.3 Mobile data
8.2.4 Mobile broadband
8.2.5 Forecasts mobile subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021
8.3 Regulatory issues
8.3.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
8.3.2 900MHz
8.3.3 1800MHz
8.3.4 2.3GHz shared spectrum
8.3.5 2.6GHz
8.3.6 Network sharing
8.3.7 Mobile termination rates (MTR)
8.3.8 SMS interconnection
8.3.9 Roaming
8.3.10 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
8.3.11 Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC)
8.4 Mobile infrastructure
8.4.1 Digital networks
8.4.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile
8.4.3 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
8.4.4 5G
8.4.5 Other infrastructure developments
8.5 Major mobile operators
8.5.1 Orange
8.5.2 SFR Group
8.5.3 Free Mobile
8.5.4 Bouygues Telecom
8.5.5 MVNOs
8.6 Mobile content and applications
8.6.1 Location based services
8.6.2 Near Field Communication (NFC)
8.6.3 Mobile satellite services
8.6.4 m-payments
8.6.5 m-banking
8.7 Machine-to-Machine (M2M)
Table 1 Country statistics 2016 (e)
Table 2 Telecom revenue and investment statistics 2015
Table 3 Telephone network statistics 2016 (e)
Table 4 Internet user statistics 2016 (e)
Table 5 Broadband statistics 2016 (e)
Table 6 Mobile statistics 2016 (e)
Table 7 National telecommunications authorities
Table 8 Telecom service investment 2002 - 2015
Table 9 End-user traffic volume in minutes by sector 2002 - 2016
Table 10 End-user traffic growth by sector 2002 - 2016
Table 11 Telecom market revenue by sector 2008 - 2016
Table 12 Proportion of telecom revenue by sector 2009 - 2016
Table 13 Telecom market revenue by sector 2008 - 2016
Table 14 End-user fixed-line market value 2003 - 2016
Table 15 End-user telecom market value annual change 2003 - 2015
Table 16 End-user monthly bill by service 2010 - 2016
Table 17 Fixed lines subscriptions by type 2003 - 2016
Table 18 Interconnect revenue 2007 - 2016
Table 19 Interconnect traffic 2007 - 2016
Table 20 Unbundled lines 2009 - 2016
Table 21 Bitstream and naked DSL lines 2009 - 2016
Table 22 Fixed numbers ported annually 2005 - 2015
Table 23 Indirect connections 2006 - 2015
Table 24 Orange customers by sector (France) 2006 - 2016
Table 25 Orange retail voice lines 2007 - 2016
Table 26 Orange Group financial data by sector 2008 - 2016
Table 27 Orange (domestic) financial data 2007 - 2016
Table 28 Orange (domestic) telecom capex 2008 - 2016
Table 29 Orange retail and wholesale lines 2006 - 2016
Table 30 SFR Group subscribers 2006 - 2016
Table 31 SFR Group financial data 2005 - 2016
Table 32 SFR Group telecom capex 2008 - 2016
Table 33 Free revenue by business line 2006 - 2016
Table 34 Free telecom capex 2007 2014
Table 35 Free DSL, LLU subscribers 2005 - 2014
Table 36 Free subscribers by sector 2011 - 2016
Table 37 Bouygues Telecom subscribers by sector 2005- 2016
Table 38 Bouygues Telecom financial data 2005 - 2016
Table 39 Fixed-lines in service 2011 - 2017
Table 40 Proportion of fixed lines by technology 2004 - 2016
Table 41 Orange wholesale broadband lines 2005 - 2016
Table 42 Internet access and device ownership by platform 1997 - 2015
Table 43 Dial-up internet subscribers 2005 - 2015
Table 44 Dial-up internet traffic 2005 - 2014
Table 45 Broadband subscribers by type and penetration 2000 - 2017
Table 46 Superfast broadband eligible premises 2000 - 2016
Table 47 Superfast broadband connections 2011 - 2016
Table 48 Broadband penetration by technology 2007 - 2015
Table 49 Historic - Internet users and penetration rate 1995 - 2009
Table 50 Internet users and penetration rate 2010 - 2017
Table 51 Internet subscribers 2008 - 2017
Table 52 Historic - Percentage of households with internet access 1997 - 2009
Table 53 Percentage of households with internet access 2010 - 2017
Table 54 Forecast broadband subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021
Table 55 Unbundled and bitstream lines 2009 - 2016
Table 56 Cable modem subscribers 2000 - 2016
Table 57 Cable modem premises passed by data speed 2000 - 2015
Table 58 DSL subscribers 2000 - 2016
Table 59 Orange DSL subscribers 2005 - 2016
Table 60 Free broadband revenue 2006 - 2016
Table 61 Free broadband subscribers 2005 - 2016
Table 62 Free broadband subscriber ARPU 2013 - 2016
Table 63 Free proportion unbundled subscribers 2005 - 2014
Table 64 Historic - SFR broadband subscribers 2004 - 2012
Table 65 Numericable-SFR broadband subscribers 2013 - 2016
Table 66 SFR broadband homes passed 2009 - 2016
Table 67 SFR revenue 2005 - 2016
Table 68 SFR annualised ARPU by broadband service 2013 - 2015
Table 69 Bouygues Telecom broadband subscribers 2010- 2016
Table 70 VDSL premises passed (30Mb/s) 2013 - 2015
Table 71 High-speed broadband lines, by data rate 2008 2016
Table 72 FttP equipped and passed buildings 2008 - 2015
Table 73 FttP subscribers 2013 - 2016
Table 74 Orange fibre subscribers 2006 - 2016
Table 75 Orange network used for through network sharing 2010 - 2015
Table 76 FttP premises connected through network sharing 2010 - 2015
Table 77 Orange satellite broadband subscribers 2008 - 2016
Table 78 DSL based IPTV subscribers, proportion of total IPTV base 2004 - 2016
Table 79 Orange IPTV/satellite subscribers 2005 - 2016
Table 80 VoIP lines and traffic in minutes 2004 - 2016
Table 81 VoIP traffic as proportion to all traffic 2004 - 2016
Table 82 Orange VoIP and Livebox subscribers 2005 - 2016
Table 83 Proportion of TV reception by platform 2009 - 2014
Table 84 Canal+ Group revenue 2005 - 2016
Table 85 Canal + subscribers 2006 - 2016
Table 86 Mobile sector investment 2007 - 2016
Table 87 Mobile retail revenue 1998 - 2017
Table 88 Average monthly bill, ARPU - 2006 - 2016
Table 89 Historic - Mobile subscribers (national, old format incl. M2M) and penetration rate 1999 - 2014
Table 90 Mobile subscribers (national) and penetration rate 2013 - 2017
Table 91 Mobile services traffic in minutes 1998 - 2016
Table 92 Mobile voice traffic in minutes by type (quarterly) 2006 - 2016
Table 93 Annual mobile voice traffic by type 2008 2015
Table 94 Mobile operator market share 2005 - 2016
Table 95 Prepaid and contract subscribers (old format national, incl. M2M) 2005 2014
Table 96 Proportion of prepaid versus contract subscribers 1999 - 2016
Table 97 Prepaid and contract subscribers (national, excl. M2M) 2011 2016
Table 98 Data market revenue 2002 - 2014
Table 99 Data as proportion of mobile service revenue 2004 - 2015
Table 100 Mobile data traffic (TB) 2008 - 2017
Table 101 Average mobile data traffic per 3G/LTE subscriber 2011 - 2016
Table 102 Average mobile data traffic per mobile subscriber 2011 - 2016
Table 103 SMS traffic volume (national) 2004 - 2016
Table 104 Annual SMS volume (national) 2003 - 2016
Table 105 Annual MMS volume 2000 - 2016
Table 106 Active mobile broadband subscribers 2007 - 2016
Table 107 Dedicated mobile broadband subscribers 2007 - 2017
Table 108 Forecast - mobile subscribers - 2016; 2018; 2021
Table 109 2.6GHz spectrum results Sep 2011
Table 110 Mobile termination charges 2005 - 2013
Table 111 Mobile interconnection revenue 2003 - 2016
Table 112 European roaming charges 2007 2016
Table 113 Mobile roaming in revenue and traffic in minutes 2003 - 2016
Table 114 European data roaming charges 2014 - 2017
Table 115 Annual mobile numbers ported 2004 2016
Table 116 2G base stations in service by operator February 2016
Table 117 3G base stations in service by operator February 2016
Table 118 Active 3G subscribers and proportion of total 2007 - 2016
Table 119 Active LTE subscribers and proportion of total 2014 - 2016
Table 120 Orange mobile subscribers (France) 2005 - 2016
Table 121 Orange blended, contract, prepaid ARPU (Q4) 2005 - 2016
Table 122 Orange mobile consumer revenue 2005 - 2016
Table 123 Orange mobile customer churn 2003 2016
Table 124 Orange mobile customer acquisition costs 2007 - 2016
Table 125 SFR mobile annualised ARPU 2005 - 2015
Table 126 SFR revenue (historic) 2004 - 2013
Table 127 SFR subscribers 2006 - 2016
Table 128 Free Mobile mobile subscribers 2012 - 2016
Table 129 Free Mobile mobile revenue 2012 - 2016
Table 130 Bouygues Telecom subscribers 2005 - 2016
Table 131 Bouygues Telecom mobile ARPU 2007 - 2016
Table 132 Bouygues Telecom financial data 2005 - 2016
Table 133 MNO and MVNO subscribers (metropolitan) 2005 - 2016
Table 134 MVNO market share (metropolitan) 2005 - 2016
Table 135 M2M cards in use 2011 - 2015
Table 136 Average monthly revenue from M2M cards 2011 - 2015
Table 137 Revenue from M2M cards 2011 - 2016
Chart 1 Telecom service investment 2002 2015
Chart 2 End-user traffic volume in minutes by sector 2002 2016
Chart 3 Telecom market revenue by sector 2008 2016
Chart 4 End-user telecom market value by sector 2003 2016
Chart 5 Fixed lines subscriptions by type 2003 2016
Chart 6 Orange customers by sector (France) 2006 2016
Chart 7 Orange Group financial data 2008 2016
Chart 8 Orange (domestic) financial data 2007 2016
Chart 9 Orange retail and wholesale lines 2006 2016
Chart 10 SFR Group subscribers 2006 - 2016
Chart 11 SFR Group financial data 2005 - 2016
Chart 12 Free revenue by segment 2006 2016
Chart 13 Free subscribers by sector 2011 2016
Chart 14 Bouygues Telecom financial data 2005 2016
Chart 15 France Telecom wholesale broadband lines 2006 2016
Chart 16 Broadband subscribers by type and penetration 2003 2017
Chart 17 Internet users and penetration rate 2005 2017
Chart 18 Average monthly bill and ARPU - 2006 2016
Chart 19 Mobile subscribers (national) and penetration rate 2011 2017
Chart 20 Mobile operator market share 2005 2016
Chart 21 Active 3G subscribers and annual change 2007 - 2016
Chart 22 Orange mobile subscribers (France) 2005 2016
Chart 23 Orange blended, contract, prepaid ARPU 2005 2016
Chart 24 Orange mobile customer acquisition costs 2007 - 2016
Chart 25 SFR subscribers 2006 - 2016
Chart 26 Bouygues Telecom financial data 2005 2016
Chart 27 MNO, MVNO subscribers (metropolitan) 2005 - 2015
Exhibit 1 EU The New Regulatory Framework (NRF)
Exhibit 2 Access and the local loop
Exhibit 3 Principal FttP and FttC (FttLA) deployments
Exhibit 4 Overview of digital media
Exhibit 5 3G licensees
Exhibit 6 Operators GPRS and GPRS/Wi-Fi launch dates
Exhibit 7 Operating MVNOs and network provider

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