Mobile user base continues to grow in France, though SMS is proving less popular

13 Nov 2012

Mainland France was home to 69.29 million mobile subscribers at the end of September 2012, up 7.6% on the figure from a year earlier. Of the total, 52.1 million were pre-paid users and the remaining 17.19 million were post-paid contract customers. There were 7.85 million customers using mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) resale services at the same date, up from 6.86 million a year before. Wiping out those who have not actively used their accounts in the past three months, the overall subscriber total drops to 66.84 million. There were 4.37 million machine-to-machine (M2M) registered SIM accounts at end-September, with another 3.30 million internet-only SIM cards in service.

For the first time ever the number of SMS text messages sent in France fell during the most recent quarter, with the monthly average number of texts per active user falling to 214.2, down from 226.4 in the three months to end-June 2012. This reflects the continued growth of smartphone-based e-mail services and more advanced multimedia messaging.