This morning, Arcep is providing its annual status report on the French telecoms market and the measurements it performs as part of its pro-investment regulation. This fifth edition of the annual Telconomics press conference will coincide with the publication of the scorecard for 2019, which includes all of the main economic data on France’s telecoms market.
Operators galvanised once again in 2019
In 2019, operators in France invested 500 million euros more than in 2018, for an overall total (excluding spending on frequencies) of €10.4 billion. Investments in nominal terms have increased by close to 50% in five years.
For the third year in a row, the increase in investment levels is due chiefly to a rise in operators’ spending on fibre deployments
At the end of 2019, 18.3 premises were eligible to subscribe to a fibre access plan, which represents 4.8 million additional access lines deployed in a single year. Alongside this record growth is the steadily increasing pace of fibre adoption: 7.1 million households had adopted fibre technology by the end of 2019 (+2.3 million YoY).
This increase in spending has gone hand in hand with a decrease in operators’ revenue (-1% in 2019) and virtually unchanged prices for residential fixed and mobile services in Metropolitan France over the course of 2019. After a sometimes very significant drop in prices in 2018, operators scaled back their promotional offers last year.
In terms of traffic, the trend on fixed and mobile networks is in keeping with the previous years. This includes an ongoing surge in mobile network traffic, for voice calls (+4%) but especially for data services (+44% YoY). 4G network users are rising at an increasingly fast pace: up 7.1 million versus 6.1 million in 2018, reaching 54.8 million at the end of 2019. These customers consumed an average 8.6 Gb of data a month, which is 2 Gb more than the year before.
More than ever before, networks are a common good: Arcep sheds some light on the actions to be carried out in the coming months
Arcep is currently toiling on several fronts, monitoring operators’ compliance with their network rollout commitments, in tandem with the Government, fixed market (copper, fibre, business) regulation, mobile network sharing, data-driven regulation tools… The Telconomics conference provides an opportunity to take stock of the latest developments in these areas, and to reiterate recent announcements regarding 5G (press release of 11 June 2020) and the launch of the “Achieving digital sustainability” collaboration platform, (press release of 11 June 2020).