Electronic communications market in France – Figures for the 1st quarter of 2022

The upward effects of the health crisis on the voice consumption of mobile operator customers persist.

Close to 63 billion minutes (excluding special numbers) were issued from fixed and mobile networks, 85% of which from mobile networks (+3 points in one year).This traffic has been falling again since the second quarter of 2021 (-6% in one year this quarter) after exceptional growth of nearly 20% in one year over the whole of 2020, linked to the health crisis. Nevertheless, it is still 9% higher than traffic in the first quarter of 2019, thanks to the high consumption of mobile subscribers.

In 2020, with the health crisis, mobile subscribers increased their voice consumption from 30 minutes to 1 hour in one year depending on the quarter, while voice usage per subscriber was practically stable for the previous five years, around 3h20 per month. Since the second quarter of 2021, the volume of voice communications sent on mobile networks is contracting (- 3% in one year this quarter against + 6% a year earlier), without traffic per subscriber returning to its pre-crisis level; it is still this quarter higher by almost 30 minutes than that of the first quarter of 2019 and amounts to 3h50 per month. In contrast, voice traffic from of customers of French operators who travel abroad has been increasing again for nearly a year (+15% in one year in the first quarter of 2022 against -11% a year earlier), reaching a level 11% higher than in the first quarter of 2019. Finally, when technically possible, mobile phone users can, from nearly two years, making use of voice communications services over Wifi. Even if the use of this service remains low compared to total mobile consumption (5%, or 2.6 billion minutes this quarter), voice communication traffic over Wi-Fi has more than doubled in two years.

On fixed networks, voice consumption resumed its downward trend since the start of 2021. However, until the end of the first half of the year, fixed-line traffic remained comparable to consumption that preceded the health crisis. Since the second half of 2021, this average consumption has never been so low: approximately 1h25 per month and per line for the third consecutive quarter.

With regard to other telecommunications services, the momentum continues. data consumption, 2.5 exabytes, continues to grow, at a higher rate than in the first quarter of 2021 : + 26% against + 18% a year earlier. Traffic per 4G subscriber continues to grow, and amounts to approximately 13 GB per monthi.e. + 15% in one year this quarter. From abroad, data consumption, 41.4 exabytes this quarter, has been increasing again for nearly a year (+70% this quarter) and has doubled in two years, just like that of customers of foreign operators during their stays in France, 42.1 exabytes: + 127% in one year this quarter.

Finally, SMS namewhose decline had been multiplied by almost four during the health crisis, decreases more moderately this quarter : – 6% this quarter against – 21% a year earlier. The average consumption of SMS per subscriber amounts to 123 SMS per month this quarter, ie – 11 SMS in one year.

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