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French mobile market hit by ongoing slowdown of consumer segment in Q1

The number of SIM cards in use in France (excluding MtoM cards) amounted to 75.8 million at March 31, 2019. The increase was 140,000 in Q1

Image by Thomas Staub from Pixabay
The year-on-year growth rate in French mobile connections slowed for a fourth consecutive quarter, standing at 1.1 percent in the three months to March, according to Arcep’s latest statistics.


Virtual mobile operators bring the full growth in metropolitan France

In metropolitan France, the park grew by 130,000 cards in the first quarter of 2019 compared with 370,000 a year earlier.


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 This relatively weak growth is mainly due to a slower growth in the post-paid segment (+260,000 vs. +680,000 in the first quarter of 2018), while the erosion of the prepaid market is slower this quarter (-130,000 vs. -310 000 in the first quarter of 2018). This weakening of the market dynamics is also reflected by a sharp decline in the number of mobile numbers kept by customers following a change of operator: while it was over two million per quarter for a year, the number of numbers this quarter (1.6 million this quarter) falls by about 25% in one year for the second consecutive quarter.

The quarter’s total quarterly growth comes this quarter, from virtual operators, who record 130,000 additional cards, half of which is linked to the growth in the number of prepaid cards. The market share of these virtual operators has been around 11% for over a year. On the other hand, the number of SIM cards for network operators in France is stabilizing this quarter (compared with a growth of 245,000 a year earlier).

In the business market, even though the annual growth in the number of SIM cards is lower than the previous quarters, it remains above 3% for the seventh consecutive quarter: 50,000 additional cards or + 3.4% in the first quarter of 2019 In the residential market, annual growth is low (+ 0.8% in one year).

Overseas, the growth in the number of post-paid cards is confirmed

The number of SIM cards in use in overseas departments and communities increased by 10,000, after an increase of 15,000 the previous quarter, thanks to the growth of the post-paid market. In particular, in Reunion, the quarterly growth of the number of packages is between +10,000 and +15,000 each quarter for a year and a half.

The number of connected objects (MtoM cards) records a growth record

The number of MtoM cards in metropolitan France stood at 19.2 million as of March 31, 2019. The annual growth has been rapid for two years (more than three million each quarter) and it reaches its highest level in the first quarter of 2019 with +3 ,5000000.

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