Very high speed becomes the majority in France according to Arcep

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According to Arcep, the revenues of telecom operators reached nearly 8.9 billion euros in the first quarter of 2021 in France. Out of a total of 30.9 million internet accesses, 15.7 million are now very high speed.

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Containment does not only have bad sides. For telecom operators in any case since the French market grew by +1.9% in the first quarter of 2021, now totaling nearly 8.87 billion euros. “Growth is mainly driven by the more intense increase in the number of subscriptions to high and very high debit and by the growing migration of copper access to end-to-end fiber optic access,” said Arcep in its latest observatory. A year ago, the market had indeed “only” risen to $8.7 billion. Since the fourth quarter of 2020, revenue from mobile terminals (741 million euros in the first quarter of 2021) has increased again, and by 12% in one year this quarter, specifies the authority.

The main lesson of this barometer concerns the adoption of very high speed, which has made a notable breakthrough with now 15.7 million accesses concerned, out of a total of 30.9, or 51%. Very high speed has gained 11 points in one year. Unsurprisingly, FTTH technology is doing well, now representing 73% of high-speed access, up 9 points. On mobile networks “more and more terminals are connected to the internet via 4G networks. Thus, 61.1 million SIM cards are active on 4G networks, which represents 5 million additional cards in one year (+9% in one year)”, notes Arcep. In total, 78.4 million SIM cards were in service in France as of March 31, 2021, of which nine out of ten cards are packages (70.7 million).

SMS decline in favor of instant messaging

Driven by the first confinement last fall, voice consumption from a landline or mobile logically fell (-5%) over the first three months of 2021. However, the volume of minutes (62.6 billion) remains higher than in previous years, which tends to show that the health crisis has played a significant role in the evolution of telephone practices. “Data consumption on mobile networks continues to grow (+12% in one year this quarter), but at a rate that slows down each quarter, and particularly since the third quarter of 2020”, explains Arcep.

SMS, for their part, are once again seeing their decline accentuate: -24% this quarter, after -21% in the fourth quarter of 2020, -15% in the third and -23% in the second. A loss of love which benefits the applications used for the exchange of interpersonal messages, the volume of data consumed on the mobile networks which include them emerging up by 11.6% over one year.

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