Communiqué de presse

Use of information and communication technologies in French society - Findings for 2012

Paris, 10 December 2012

ARCEP and the Committee for industry, energy and technologies, CGIET (Conseil général de l'industrie, de l'énergie et des technologies) have released the findings of the 10th annual survey on the use of information and communication technologies (fixed and mobile calling, internet and microcomputers) in France. This survey was conducted in June 2012 through face-to-face interviews with a sample of 2,206 people who are representative of the French population, 12 years of age and over.

What follows are some of the survey's main findings.

More and more people equipped with wireline and mobile phones, computers and internet access.

- Seventy eight percent of the population now have both a landline telephone in the home and their own mobile phone (+4 points compared to last year): telephony equipment levels stand at 89% for fixed (+1 point) and 85% for mobile (+3 points);

- four out of five people have a computer at home - most of which are laptops (70%) and 97% of which are connected to the internet;

- portable devices are increasingly popular: 64% of the population ages 12 and up own a laptop computer, a mobile phone or a tablet (+11 points);

- most people (55%) still access the internet using a landline connection at home, but this is followed closely by the use of a Wi-Fi connection at home (49%, +7 points). We are also seeing a swift increase in the use of mobile devices - i.e. tablets and phones - to access the web at home, either via Wi-Fi (23%, +10 points) or a mobile network (20%, +6 points). Ultimately, consumers are using a variety of connection modes, with 45% of them employing two or more to access the internet when at home.

Growing adoption of mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) one of the main reasons for increased traffic:

- Twenty nine percent of the population surf the web using a smartphone, which marks an 8-point increase over the year before. And usage has skyrocketed over the past two years: accessing e-mail and downloading paid applications rose by a further 7 points, after having increased by 8 points in 2011 (adopted by 23% and 21% of users, respectively);

- twenty percent of individuals use a laptop computer or a tablet to connect to the internet when away from home;

- smartphone owners are twice as likely to use the mobile internet: 79% of them use their phone to surf the web, compared to only 29% of mobile phone owners as a whole. Sixty five percent use their smartphone to send e-mail, 63% to download applications and 24% to watch TV. These are nevertheless the same percentages as in 2011.

Time spent online and in front of a screen:

- every year, a growing number of people access the internet on a daily basis: this is currently the case for 77% of internet subscribers in France;
- People ages 12 and up report an average 36 hours of screen time a week (excluding mobile phone usage), of which 20 hours watching TV, 13 hours surfing the internet and three hours using a micro-computer or tablet. Age and education level are the two factors that induce the greatest variations: teenagers and people with the highest education levels spend around half of their screen time online, whereas 60 to 69-year olds and people with no post-secondary education prefer TV, which accounts for between 74% and 82% of their weekly screen time.

- Half of all parents have rules limiting the amount of time their children spend in front of a screen.

Social networking a central part of time spent online:

- The way people use the internet has changed very little since last year: the use of e-government and online tax services is holding steady at 48%; filing tax returns online (33%) and requesting government forms (36%) are up by two points, while 49% of People ages 12 and up say they shop online (+1 point);

- streaming videos (23%) and music (33%) are down by two points compared to last year, while downloads have stagnated for both: at 14% and 22%, respectively. But more and more people say they are watching TV online: a total 21%, which is 3 points more than last year;

- forty two percent of people ages 12 and up (or 23 million people) have joined social networking sites: 92% say these sites allow them to keep in touch with friends and family; 77% see them as a form of entertainment; 74% use them to share photos or videos and 54% to get their news. Twenty four percent see social networking sites as a way to meet new people and only 15% use them for business purposes.

- And, finally, half of all people use the Web to keep up with the latest news.

The complete findings (in French) are available for download on the ARCEP website