Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "France Telecommunications Report Q2 2013", is now available at Fast Market Research
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/07/2013 -- BMI View: The launch of Free Mobile in 2012 intensified competition and as a result brought subscription growth back to the French mobile market, catalysing a number of changes that will impact the market over the medium term. Subscription growth will continue 2013 to 2017, with penetration moving towards the European average. However, the flipside is that ARPUs will move to the downside towards the regional level associated with France's GDP per capita. France's established operators are already seeing their ARPUs decline sharply, leading to a variety of cost-saving measures being announced, including network infrastructure sharing and tower sale deals. BMI expects lower costs to remain the operators' focus as pricing pressures play out. Converged services and operations in the broadband arena offer some respite, but consumer spending remains squeezed and telecoms operators are feeling the brunt.
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- Regulatory data from ARCEP show the fixed-line market decline to have accelerated in 2012, with the fastest pace of decline in PSTN subscriptions.
- Although operators have not released results for the final quarter of 2012, data from the regulatory indicate that the market continued to expand in terms of subscriptions in Q412.
- France has fallen one position in BMI's Risk/Reward Ratings in the Q2 2013 update as the combination of intensifying price competition following the launch of Free Mobile and cuts to mobile termination rates had a detrimental impact on our ARPU forecast for the market.
Key Trends & Developments
The most significant development in the final quarter of 2012 and first months of 2013 was the commercial launch of LTE services by both Orange and SFR. The latter launched LTE services in November 2012 in Montpellier and Lyon, and is extending coverage to 10 cities in 2013. Meanwhile, Orange has launched in Lyon, Nantes, Lille and Marseille and will extend to 10 cities in 2013 - including Paris. BMI believes the launch of LTE offers scope for generating greater revenue from data services, and Orange has already stated it plans to revise its pricing plans when it launches in additional cities and will look to use the launch of LTE as an opportunity to raise tariffs. There is a risk to this scenario emanating from the regulator's decision to allow MVNOs to launch LTE services at the same time as network operators, which could put downward pressure on prices.
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