ARCEP is publishing its provisional Electronic communications market observatory findings on mobile services in France (user base data) for the third quarter of 2014.

Paris, 6th November 2014

France's mobile market volume continues to increase: the number of SIM cards in use has risen by close to 5% in one year.

As of 30 September 2014, the number of SIM cards in use stood at 79.3 million, which translates into a penetration rate of 120.5% of the population, or 5% more than last year. The mobile market continues to enjoy lively growth: SIM card numbers have increased by 3.7 million compared to September 2013 (+4.9% in a year). Growth is being spurred by an increase in the number of voice and voice-data flat rate plan subscriptions (+3.2 million in a year, including an additional 715,000 in Q3 2014) and in the number of MtoM cards in circulation (+1.4 million in a year, +315,000 this past quarter). The number of prepaid cards continues to shrink, albeit more slowly than in previous quarters, decreasing by 900,000 cards on the year, and by 50,000 during this past quarter).

In Metropolitan France, of the 76.6 million cards in service (+5.1% on the year), 67.6 million are attached to a subscription with a mobile network operator (+730,000 for the quarter) and 9 million with a virtual network operator (+270,000 for the quarter). MVNOs' market share thus stands at 11.3%, which is 0.4 points higher than one year earlier.

Thanks to the development of contract-free, flat rate plans, the percentage of plans that are commitment-free - in other words plans with no minimum contract length and those whose contractual term has expired - has increased by 8 points in a year, up to 48.5%.

There were 2.7 million SIM cards in service in France's overseas markets at the end of Q3 2014, which is 9,000 more than the year before, but 17,000 less than in the second quarter of the year - due to a decrease in prepaid card numbers, particularly in in the Antilles-Guyana region (-28,000).

Linked documents

Q3 2014 figures