Reaching 80 million SIM cards in 2014, France’s mobile market posts another strong year

Feb 9, 2015
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The mobile market in France continues to remain strong and robust, driven by continued low pricing, interesting features, services and offers, and a public becoming more and more attached to their mobile devices.  Arcep, France’s telecom regulatory authority, just announced the 2014 figures on France’s telco sector.  Here are the highlights:

There are nearly 80 million active SIM cards in France, a jump of 4.1% over last year

The number of SIM cards continues to rise, increasing 3 million over last year to reach 80 million in total. The increase was uneven over last year, with the third quarter proving to be the one posting the strongest uptick, as 1 million new SIM cards were added in that quarter alone. The strongest growth came from mobile contracts rather prepaid cards. The 80 million figure puts the penetration of SIM cards in France at 121.5% of the population. With the rise of connected objects, M-to-M cards are also growing leaps and bounds, albeit off a much smaller base.

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Non-engagement contracts are becoming the norm

Over the last year, non-engagement contracts jumped 7% and are quickly becoming the norm in France. Now the majority of contracts, 51% to be exact, are non-engagement, giving mobile users the ability to switch between operators much more easily. In fact, the number of consumers that maintained their mobile numbers from one operator to another stood at 1.7 million last quarter, an increase of 8% over the previous year.  The biggest jump in this was end 2011/2012, when 2.6 million numbers were retained. Presumably this was at the time when it became much easier for mobile users to retain their phone numbers when switching operators.  What this all means is that the loyal customer which telcos had become so accustomed years ago, is becoming increasingly scarce, which necessitates increased marketing and promotion in order to continuously attract new customers and, when they can, retain existing ones.

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