Communiqué de presse

ART publishes a study on relations between telecommunications operators and consumers

6 February 2001

As part of the action programme conducted by Autorité de régulation des telecommunications (ART) in favour of consumers, ART published today a study ordered from SOFRES on relations between telecommunications operators and their residential clients.

The study showed the following:

  • The penetration rate of new entrant operators has doubled in one year: in 2000, 16% of households declare being clients of an operator competing with France Telecom, compared with 9% in 1999.

    Noteworthy is the strong growth of Télé2 (7.8% of penetration compared with 2% in 99), topping Cegetel (6.9% compared with 5.1%), and growing representation of 9 Télécom (2.1% compared with 0.8%).

  • The main reason for changing operators is price (85% of answers)

  • French consumers still do not know the price of telephone calls, whether fixed mobile): consumers tend to overestimate all prices.

    (1) These values are calculated based on average call duration for each type of call (local and long distance) and a weighting between calls made during peak hours (regular price) and non-peak hours (reduced price). Pricing options and fixed rates are not included in this calculation.
    (2) All prices are for peak hours beyond the time credit in French francs including all taxes.
    (3) Source: 1014 from France Telecom
    (4) Source:
    (5) Arithmetic mean calculated based on the prices of all operators at and before 1st November 2000.

    As the table shows, consumers overestimate actual prices (by about 100%).

  • Consumers are less liable to read their contract with their telecommunications operator

    Contract reading rate for fixed lines

    Contract reading rate for mobile

    Moreover, the degree of knowledge of contracts' general conditions is declining. Thus, for example, only 39% of people know what the "orange list" is (41% last year).

    In mobile telephony, almost one-quarter of subscribers know none of the general conditions of their mobile services contracts (compared with 5% in 1999).

  • Internet access

    15% of households declare having Internet access

    Types of Internet access plans

    6 out of 10 households declare having had at least one problem with Internet

    Types of problems encountered

    ART will present these results to consumer associations on Friday 9 February when they will meet to discuss a topic of mutual interest: pricing information.

    Linked documents

     The complete study