According to Arcep, the number of SIM cards activated in France is declining. This is the first time since the end of 2020.
Arcep has published the electronic communications market observatory for the first quarter of 2023. The authority’s finding could not be clearer: operators French telecoms are struggling to sell their mobile plans. At the end of the first quarter of 2023, “ the number of SIM cards in service in France amounts to 82.5 million “, down 160,000 cards compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. According to the French telecommunications regulatory authority, this downward movement was foreseeable and results from the conjunction “of the weakening of the growth of the postpaid segment and the contraction of the prepaid segment”.
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In other words, subscriptions are no longer popular. Whereas a year ago, operators could boast of counting 500,000 additional subscriptions in a quarter (postpaid cards), Orange, Free, Bouygues and SFR only total 140,000 more customers this year. Operators cannot count on prepaid cards to improve these figures either, since this product is experiencing “a decline for the second quarter following a level not seen since 2020 (- 300,000 in one quarter, compared to – 170,000 in the first quarter of 2022)”.
The number of prepaid and postpaid subscriptions has experienced an unprecedented drop in two and a half years
Operators can take comfort in noting that the segment of business market continues to grow at a stable and high rate for two years, at 6.3%. Companies registered 135,000 additional SIM cards in the first quarter.
To read – Bouygues Telecom increases the price of its mobile plans by €3, but it is possible to refuse
Is this drop in SIM card activations the cause or the consequence of the price increases imposed by all French operators? Difficult to have any certainty on this subject, the companies not having all revealed their quarterly financial results. THE operators will have to use their imagination to win new customers and for business to pick up again.