Renewed growth in mobile sales : Over 3 million new mobile customers in France in 2003

Paris, 26 January 2004

Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART) made public today figures from its quarterly Mobile Observatory for the last quarter 2003.

As of 31 December 2003, there were 41.7 million customers of mobile telephony services in France, representing a penetration rate of 69.1%.

Annual growth in mobile sales for 2003 topped 3 million, representing 8% growth for the year. This performance marks definite renewal in growth in the number of mobile customers following annual growth of 4.3% in 2002.

The increase in customer numbers was particularly strong in the fourth quarter 2003 with 1.5 million new customers, representing 3.9% quarterly growth.

Moreover, the strong growth in SMS traffic in Metropolitan France was confirmed once more in the fourth quarter 2003 when close to 2.3 billion text messages were sent, bringing annual traffic for 2003 to more than 8 billion messages. During the fourth quarter 2003, every customer sent an average of 19.6 SMS per month, compared with 16.1 for the same period a year earlier.

Total recurring sales for the three Metropolitan operators for the third quarter 2003 grew 4.7% over the previous quarter, for average monthly revenue per customer of €34.90, up €1.00 over the second quarter 2003.