Lewes, DE -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/23/2014 -- France has one of the largest telecoms market in Europe, supported by a population of around 63 million. The incumbent, France Telecom/Orange, is one of the world's major players with interests in markets across Europe, the Middle East and francophone Africa. The telco's market dominance has been eroded through increasing competition from a number of major players, in turn encouraging it to invest in a national fibre network to improve its network capabilities and consumer offerings.
France has the third largest broadband subscriber base in Europe. DSL dominates broadband access, and though the cable footprint only reaches about 40% of the population the main cableco Numricable has upgraded its network to compete with DSL, and has itself entered the DSL market through the acquisition of DSL-based market players. Fibre deployment has developed a significant and growing market presence in recent years, supported by an effective regulatory and legislative regime which promotes fibre network sharing and optimises operators' investment strategies.
France is also one of Europe's key markets for telecom convergence and bundled services, and has Europe's largest IPTV sector. The success of service bundles largely rests on fierce competition which has reduced the cost of bundles while raising the quantity and quality of services offered.
The mobile phone market, worth some EUR15 billion in 2013, has undergone significant changes in recent years. The regulator was keen to promote the entry of a new player, and the subsequent efforts of Free Mobile resulted in price competition between the MNOs Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom. SFR became the main casualty of this process, with the operator being sold to Numricable in early 2014. The deal will go far to introducing further market consolidation and to encouraging operators to provide a full range of services to customers to secure a competitive edge.
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