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France Telecommunications Report Q1 2014 - New Market Report

Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "France Telecommunications Report Q1 2014", is now available at Fast Market Research


Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/21/2014 -- The launch of Free Mobile in Q112 has had a major impact on competitive dynamics in France, adding to pressure on revenues from regulatory measures such as MTR cuts. These developments have put pressure on operator financial performance and resulted in a revision of strategies by the existing operators. Compounding the pressure on revenues from competition and regulatory changes is the shift in consumer behaviour as they increasingly adopt IP alternatives, leading to declines in the volume of voice and SMS services being consumed - which is not yet being offset by rising usage of non-voice services. In the wireline market more players are entering the converged services market; the rise of triple- and quadplay packages makes it difficult for established players to continue growing. Instead, they are focusing on extracting more value from those customers they retain.

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Key Data

- Free Mobile continued to increase its market share in 9M13 - reaching 10% of subscriptions by the end of September - as Orange, SFR and Bouygues all continued to lose share.
- Cuts to mobile termination rates have added to price competition, and resulted in steep declines in ARPU. Orange, SFR and Bougyues reported declines of 12-15% year on year (y-o-y) to Q313.
- SMS IP substitution appears to be underway, which will add to financial pressure on operators. SMS volumes declined 4.5% in Q213, and a further 3.5% in Q313, according to ARCEP data.

Key Trends And Developments

The combination of Free's aggressive move into mobile, cuts to mobile termination rates and the threat of IP substitution has put financial pressure on operators and resulted in shifts in strategy. In October 2013, Vivendi reportedly hired two banks to assist in getting its mobile network subsidiary SFR listed on a stock market. The IPO is expected to be launched earlier in 2014, with marketing and listing expected to take place in summer and autumn 2014, as Vivendi looks to raise funds. The announcement followed news earlier in 2013 that SFR and Bouygues Telecom entered discussions to share key parts of their mobile network infrastructure in response to the 'profound market changes' sweeping across the telecoms sector.

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