ARCEP publishes its observatory of electronic communications markets in France in the second quarter of 2014Subscriptions and traffic still on the rise, while the net decrease in revenue continues.

Paris, 2nd October 2014

Ongoing steady increase in fixed and mobile subscriptions and traffic

As of 30 June 2014, there were 25.4 million broadband and superfast broadband subscriptions in France, of which 2.3 million were to a superfast broadband service. Annual growth has remained consistently high (at around 4%) for the past three quarters. Totalling 78.4 million at the end of Q2 2014, the rise in SIM card numbers has been equally steady (+4.8%), spurred by the growing number of flat rate plans and by MtoM market growth.

Fixed and mobile voice calling traffic, which reached 60 billion minutes in Q2 2014, remains virtually unchanged (-0.5% in a year). The increase in traffic originating on mobile lines (+8% in a year) is more or less offsetting the decrease in calling traffic originating on fixed lines: -11.3% in a year as of Q2 2014.

Users' appetite for internet access and content on their mobiles continues to grow unabated, as a result of which data traffic on mobile networks has been increasing steadily for several quarters in row: +88.9% on the year as of Q2 2014. At the same time, the number of customers who have used a superfast (4G) mobile system has increased dramatically, going from 3.7 million in Q1 2014 up to 5.5 million in the second quarter of the year, i.e. 1.8 million additional users. Messaging traffic (SMS and MMS) also continues to be heavy, with 50 billion messages sent during the quarter - which is 3.1% more than in Q2 2013.

The decrease in electronic communications operators' retail market revenue, which began in 2011, is slowing more and more

As of Q2 2014, telecom operators' retail market revenue stood at €9.1 billion, excluding VAT, which marks a slower rate of decline that in previous quarters: decreasing by 4.1% compared to Q2 2013, after having decreased by 6% in the first quarter of 2014 and by around 8% throughout 2013.

This less acute decrease is due in part to fixed services revenue that has remained virtually unchanged (-0.3% in a year), standing at €3.7 billion excluding VAT, compared to the 2% to 4% decrease reported in the previous quarters. Moreover, the decline in mobile services revenue (€3.4 billion excluding VAT in Q2 2014, or -10.6% on the year) which had sharpened in December 2013, largely as a result of the drop in residential mobile service prices in Metropolitan France (- 27.2% in 2013 (1)), has flattened out considerably, thanks to only slight price decreases since the start of 2014. Mobile subscribers' average monthly invoice has levelled off at around €16, excluding VAT, since the beginning of 2014. Meanwhile, the average monthly invoice for a wireline subscription stands at €33.30, and has remained more or less unchanged for a year.




(1) On 23 May 2014, ARCEP released its mobile services price index for the consumer market, for 2010 to 2013. (pdf - 1.02 Mo)

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Q2 Figures