Moving floors full of jigs abound, but consumption does not take off

Mobile subscribers in France now consume an average of 13GB of data per month. At the same time, operators offer offers that very often exceed 100 GB.

At a time when operators are struggling for data-enriched packages, consumer interest seems rather relative. Why offer offers that sometimes include more than 200GB of data to subscribers who consume 10x less? This is the question that Arcep could ask itself in its new Observatory of electronic communications markets in France. In the first quarter of 2022, “traffic per 4G subscriber continues to grow and amounts to about 13 GB per month, or + 15% in one year this quarter”announces the regulator.

An overall negligible increase in use and consumption compared to the proliferation of data-boost packages available on the market. While Free Mobile added 60GB to its premium package at € 19.99 / month last January, increasing it to 210GB, the operator hasn’t revised its price upward. This gain appears to be a way for the operator to prepare their subscribers for the democratization of 5G and the resulting uses, which should cause a strong growth in data traffic on the networks. Today Free Mobile subscribers are among the most data-intensive in the Old Continent, with as many as 20 GB of data consumed monthly.

Conversely, some operators such as Bouygues Telecom, try to raise the price of their bids by offering more gigs in exchange, the auction is sometimes crazy. A follower of this legal but disturbing practice, the operator recently warned subscribers to its special Black Friday offer launched last November that their bill will increase by € 3. In return, they will receive an additional 30GB on their already substantial 300GB envelope, initially offered for € 13.99 / month. However, this is not the only change made – the previously 4G-only package has moved to 5G.

In 2021, the price of mobile plans increased by 3.1% in mainland France. Failing to agree on a three-player return, the currently profitable operators are all trying to restore their margins. And one of their strategies besides outsourcing some of their expenses to implement their network infrastructure, or scrapping Netflix and others for their use, is to increase revenue per subscriber. And often the data serves as an excuse.

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