Home Technology Arcep: fiber and 5G have the wind at their back

Arcep: fiber and 5G have the wind at their back


Rise in 5G access, data consumption, fiber subscriptions… Arcep has published the figures from its electronic communications market observatory for the fourth quarter of 2021 with a sum of measured trends.

On mobile, 5G continues to grow after a year of commercial service in mainland France. Almost 3 million SIM cards (2.973 million) have hooked up to a 5G network at least once during the past three months. This is almost double the previous quarter.

4G remains ahead, 66.1 million SIM cards used this type of network during this quarter and the use of 3G rebounded with 67.7 million cards connected (these figures include subscribers who may have connected to any or all of these networks).

50, 80, 120 GB, 210 GB… the offers of mobile operators abound in data and the reminders to change plans often insist on the need to plan ahead. In fact, the reality is quite different. If users do need good quotas, the average monthly consumption – in 4G – was 12 GB, like the previous quarter. This is an increase of 12% over one year but we are far from the volumes pushed by the operators. As for the monthly invoice, it is €14.90 excluding tax on average. Plans with less data but much lower prices could find an audience…

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As for SIM cards used exclusively for Internet access (to provide a PC or tablet with a cellular connection), they were 3.7 million this quarter (3.4 million a year ago).

In other mobile uses, the consumption of SMS/MMS continued to decline, but more slowly (29.38 billion SMS sent this quarter and 1.26 billion MMS). At the height of the health crisis, the backlash had been more violent, the number of text messages sent had been divided by four.

There is still a decline in the volume issued (-9% this quarter) but it is less prominent (-18% at the same time a year ago). Arcep gives an average of 128 SMS consumed per month and per SIM card (9 on average for MMS).


The use of SMS is down except for marketing

Do you use your smartphone little or almost not at all to make calls? Then you are not in the general trend. Over this quarter, voice calls from a mobile represented an average of 3h48. It’s a little better than three months ago (3h39) but the most interesting thing is to observe with the periods of confinement. A record was set in the second quarter of 2020 with 4:27. During the summer and the easing of travel constraints, we went to 3h45 before going back to just over 4h in the following quarters.

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Finally, another shift should be noted, that between fiber subscription versus ADSL. For the first time, notes Arcep, the first supplants the second. 14.5 million end-to-end fiber lines were put into service with customers, compared to 12.4 million for ADSL. A year ago, the balance of power was largely reversed: 10.4 million for fiber and 15.3 million for ADSL. The average bill for these high and very high speed subscribers is €33.5 excluding tax per month, which is fairly stable.

In total, as of December 31, 2021, Arcep recorded 31.5 million fixed internet accesses, of which well over half – 18.4 million – are very high speed. And among those better equipped, fiber customers now largely dominate (79%): “ In the fixed services market, all of the growth in the number of Internet subscriptions over the past year has come from that of end-to-end fiber optic access “.

Fiber gets the majority at Free

Fiber gets the majority at Free

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