Recently, a thorough study conducted by the French regulatory authority, Arcep, shed light on the fierce competition among telecommunication giants in France. One provider seems to have taken the lead – Orange. By outperforming its competitors in most metrics, it was found to be delivering a top-notch service across the board.
Arcep’s New Speed Threshold Categories
Among the numerous measurements taken in the study, Arcep introduced new categories for internet speed thresholds: 3 Mbps, 8 Mbps, and 30 Mbps. Orange reigns supreme, delivering the best results across all thresholds and housing areas. While Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, and SFR hold their ground at the 3 Mbps and 8 Mbps thresholds, they fail to keep pace with Orange at the 30 Mbps threshold. Particularly, Free Mobile distinguishes itself from the rest at this benchmark.
Regional Performance Discrepancies
Regional differences in service quality were also observed. In densely populated areas, such as medium and large cities, Bouygues Telecom puts up a tough fight against Orange, while SFR and Free Mobile lag slightly. Conversely, in rural locales, Bouygues Telecom faces the biggest challenges.
The Tool ‘Mon réseau mobile’
Given the variability in service quality by region and provider, Arcep recommends users utilize the ‘Mon réseau mobile' tool. This allows individuals to compare operator performances based on their specific location (dense, intermediate, or rural) and their regular travel routes.
National Improvements in Voice Quality
The study also found a marked improvement in voice quality at a national level between 2022 and 2023. For dense areas, the rate of perfect quality calls—those lasting two minutes without any audible disturbances—was 96% for Orange, 95% for Bouygues Telecom, and 92% for both SFR and Free Mobile.
In intermediate areas, Free Mobile made significant strides, increasing its perfect call rate by 6 points to match SFR at 91%, and inching closer to Bouygues Telecom at 92%. Orange continues to lead at 95%. In rural areas, Bouygues Telecom lags behind once again, achieving a rate of 76%, as compared to 78% for both SFR and Free Mobile, and 85% for Orange.
Streaming and Web Browsing Quality
Meanwhile, when it comes to streaming video, all four operators performed well in dense areas, each attaining a rate of 97%. Orange, however, takes the lead in rural areas, boasting an admirable 89% rate. SFR, Free Mobile, and Bouygues Telecom trail behind at 85%, 84%, and 82% respectively.
Moreover, the quality of web browsing, gauged by the display of web pages in less than 10 seconds, was found to be excellent in dense areas. Orange edges ahead at 97%, with Bouygues Telecom close behind at 96%, and SFR and Free Mobile at 94% and 93% respectively. In contrast, providers' performances differed notably in rural areas. Orange leads the pack with 84%, followed by Free Mobile at 78%, SFR at 77%, and Bouygues Telecom at 75%.