Communiqué de presse

France's mobile market continues to grow: SIM card numbers have increased by more than 5% in a year



Paris, 7 May 2014

ARCEP is publishing its provisional Telecommunications Market Observatory findings on mobile services in France for the first quarter of 2014.

On 31 March 2014, there were 77.6 million SIM cards in use, which translates into a penetration rate of 117.9% of the population (mainland and overseas France).

The number of flat rate plans, excluding M2M cards, stands at 55 million and represents 71% of all active SIM cards. 7.3 million, or 9% of the total, are M2M cards and 15.3 million are prepaid cards (20% of the total).


· Mobile market growth still lively

The number of SIM cards in use increased by 3.9 million compared to March 2013 (+5.3% in a year). Growth is being spurred by an increase in the number of voice and voice-data flat rate plan subscriptions (+3.9 million in a year, including an additional 700,000 in Q1 2014) and in the number of MtoM cards in circulation (+2 million in a year, +385,000 this past quarter). The number of prepaid cards continues to shrink, decreasing by 2 million since March 2013.

· In Metropolitan

France Among the 74.8 million SIM cards in service, 66.4 million are attached to a subscription with a mobile network operator, and 8.5 million with a virtual network operator (MVNO). 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 nine points in a year, up to 45.5%.

· In the French overseas departments and territories

There were 2.8 million SIM cards in service in France's overseas markets at the end of Q1 2014, which is 100,000 more than the year before. This growth has come entirely from the Caribbean region, while the number of cards in use in Reunion and Mayotte (+10,000) has remained virtually unchanged since Q1 2013. Contrary to mainland France, prepaid card numbers continue to grow (+4.2% in a year), due to a rise in the number of customers in the Antilles-Guyane region with a prepaid contract.