The number of SIM Cards in use in France rose by 5 percent over the past year taking the country’s mobile penetration rate to 117.5%.
The number of flat rate plans, excluding M2M cards, stands at 55 million and represents 71% of all active SIM cards. 7.3 million, or 9% of the total, are M2M cards and 15.3 million are prepaid cards (20% of the total).
According to statistics released by the telecoms regulator, the number of SIM cards in use increased by 3.9 million compared to March 2013 (+5.3% in a year).
Growth is being spurred by an increase in the number of voice and voice-data flat rate plan subscriptions (+3.9 million in a year, including an additional 700,000 in Q1 2014) and in the number of MtoM cards in circulation (+2 million in a year, +385,000 this past quarter). The number of prepaid cards continues to shrink, decreasing by 2 million since March 2013.
France Among the 74.8 million SIM cards in service, 66.4 million are attached to a subscription with a mobile network operator, and 8.5 million with a virtual network operator (MVNO).
MVNOs’ market share thus stands at 11.3%, which is 0.4 points higher than one year earlier.
Thanks to the development of contract-free, flat rate plans, the percentage of plans that are commitment-free – in other words plans with no minimum contract length and those whose contractual term has expired – has increased by nine points in a year, up to 45.5%.
In the French overseas departments and territories
There were 2.8 million SIM cards in service in France’s overseas markets at the end of Q1 2014, which is 100,000 more than the year before. This growth has come entirely from the Caribbean region, while the number of cards in use in Reunion and Mayotte (+10,000) has remained virtually unchanged since Q1 2013. Contrary to mainland France, prepaid card numbers continue to grow (+4.2% in a year), due to a rise in the number of customers in the Antilles-Guyane region with a prepaid contract.