According to data published by the French telecoms regulator Arcep, the country’s mobile penetration rate climbed to 84% at the end of September, up from 78.8% a year earlier, thanks to strong growth in the post-paid segment. The watchdog reported there were 53.076 million cellphones in the country by 30 September, up 6.5% year-on-year, of which 35.248 million had a contract (3%). In the third quarter alone, Arcep said the number of people on contracts climbed 1.9% while those using pay-as-you-go options dipped 0.8%. The proportion of phones counted as ‘active’ was also up; the figure climbed from 77.7% at the end of Septmebr 2006 to 82.4% a year later.
The watchdog also reported that the country’s mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) continue to make inroads in the market. Taken together, MVNOs had 2.073 million customers by the start of October, a market share of 4.06%, compared with less than a million users at end-September 2006.