Mobile services: almost 2 million more SIM cards per year

In its Observatory of Mobile Services Markets, Arcep sees good growth in the second quarter of 2022 in the number of SIM cards, which continues to be at a high level of 2.3 million for the year, reaching 81.6 million as of June 30. , 2022.

The telecommunications regulator points out that the growth is “completely postpaid” as the share of prepaid cards fell further this quarter to around 9% nationally.

In mainland France, the business market was especially dynamic this quarter. “The growth in the number of SIM cards with this clientele is contributing to an increase in the total number of SIM cards by more than 25%, while this market segment (10.7 million SIM cards at the end of June 2022) is only 15% of the total number of SIM cards. the total number of SIM cards in service,” notes Arsep.

Fewer virtual operators

In addition, the market share of mobile virtual operators (MVNO) continues to decline to 6.7% from almost 8.3% in the previous quarter, and the list of virtual operators absorbed by national operators continues to grow. For example, SFR recently acquired Syma following Prixtel, Afone and Coriolis.

However, unlike bundles, the majority of prepaid card sales still come from virtual mobile operators (i.e., 50.6% of gross sales this quarter), the report notes, despite a decline of 11.6 points year-on-year.

In addition, the growth in the number of customers who are not, or are no longer, tied to their carrier continues at a “sustainable pace,” recalls Arsep. This quarter, their share reached 75%. It is worth noting that the number of numbers remaining with customers after changing the operator decreased for the first time in a year and a half, by -9.3% per year.

Overseas, after three quarters of high growth, especially in the second half of 2021, the number of SIM cards has stabilized at 2.7 million as of June 30, 2022. Despite an actual decline in eight years, prepaid cards still make up 26% of all SIM cards. in the service of the overseas departments and communities, compared to less than 10% in the French mainland.

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