Summary of our market study

In 2023, according to ARCEP, 39 million homes could be connected to fiber optics, and there were 22 million subscriptions.

The global fiber optics market is growing substantially, from $8.8 billion in 2022 to $14.9 billion by the end of 2024, representing an average annual growth rate of 6.9%.

This increase is attributed to growth in broadband demand, fuelled by telecommuting and other bandwidth-hungry online activities.

The Asia-Pacific region leads demand, with a revenue share of 28.8% in 2022. In India, the merger of BSNL and BBNL has accelerated the installation of the fiber-optic network. The United States has laid around 91.9 million kilometers of fiber optic cable.

French manufacturers make a significant contribution, with a substantial market share, making France Europe's leading producer of fiber optic cables.

Growth has not been slowed by technological competition from 5G networks.

Trends in the French fiber optics market

In recent years, the deployment of fiber optics, a cutting-edge technology for high-speed Internet access, has been a top priority in France. Fiber optics will gradually replace the ADSL network.

The government's France Très Haut Débit plan aims to ensure fiber optic connectivity throughout the country. By 2023, according to ARCEP, 39 million homes could be connected to fiber optics, and there will be 22 million subscriptions.

French manufacturers have established themselves as Europe's leading specialists in fiber optic cable production.

The four main French ISPs are Orange, SFR, Free and Bouygues. Orange serves between 25,000 and 26,000 towns.

100% coverage by 2025 remains a challenge

French industry faces the threat of Chinese competition and concerns about production capacity to meet the ambitious targets of the France THD plan.

5G technology presents strong competition. Its coexistence with fiber optics is likely due to different applications and use cases.

French exports of fiber optic cables will be worth between 480 and 500 million euros in 2022, outstripping imports worth between 460 and 470 million euros.

Key players dominating the fiber optics landscape

  • Orange
  • SFR
  • Free
  • Bouygues Telecom

Manufacturers

  • Prysmian
  • Silec
  • Acome
  • Enoptic

Infrastructures

  • Altitude Infra
  • TDF

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1. Market overview and definition

Fiber optics, a technology that has long been mastered, notably in undersea telecoms cables, is becoming the main technology for Internet access. It enables data rates unmatched by other technologies currently on the market (ADSL, satellite), both in transmission and reception.

Setting up fiber optics requires heavy initial investment. To make this technology available to as many people as possible, fiber-optic cables have to be laid to every home and house likely to need them. To this end, the French government has established several guidelines as part of its France Très Haut Débit plan, which is supposed to connect the entire country to fiber by 2022.

The fiber optics market is undeniably a fast-growing sector: in 2016 ARCEP reported 8.3 million lines giving access to fiber optics, and by 2021 this number had risen to 29.7 million. [ARCEP] With a significant market share, French manufacturers are Europe's leading specialists in the production of fiber optic cables. On the ISP side, the four major French operators have seized this opportunity and are sharing fiber deployment more or less equally, mainly in the final kilometers of deployment (home connections). some towns are connected by several ISPs, but Orange remains the provider with the most extensive coverage, providing fiber to 25,773 towns [Ariase]

There are nevertheless a number of limiting factors, such as the threat to the French industry from Chinese competition, the risk of a lack of production capacity for the France THD plan, and technological competition linked to the advent of 5G.

In addition, fiber deployment activities have been suspended due to the health crisis, and the strong growth seen since 2018 has levelled off. At the same time, telecoms networks have had to cope with an unprecedented increase in data traffic, leading to transmission slowdowns. As a result, demand for ultra-high-speed broadband has risen sharply, with containment confirming French interest in this type of Internet connection.

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Size of the fiber optics market
  • Growth in the number of connectable fiber optic lines
  • Foreign trade in fiber optic cables
  • Main countries supplying fiber optic cables
  • Breakdown of premises eligible for BHD and THD by technology
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Latest news

Fiber: Orange no longer wants to buy TDF's billion-dollar networks - 22/01/2024
  • TDF's owners are seeking at least 1.5 billion euros for their fiber networks.
  • TDF owns a fiber network of 750,000 outlets in six départements, representing around 7% of its sales in 2022.
  • Orange currently owns the largest fiber network in France.
  • Orange Concessions, 50%-owned by Caisse des Dépôts, CNP Assurances and EDF Invest, has a significant footprint with 24 networks.
  • 200 people are responsible for maintaining TDF networks.
  • Anglo-Saxon infrastructure funds are among the potential buyers, including the Igneo fund, which is already a co-shareholder in a 10,000 km fiber network in Germany, and DIF Capital Partners, which already co-owns fiber networks in Ardèche and Drôme.
Draka Comteq, a Prysmian subsidiary, closes its Calais site - 25/11/2023
  • The Draka Comteq plant in Calais employs 82 people.
  • The closure of the plant was announced on November 20.
  • The plant's activity has decreased by 20% per year since 2022.
  • Another Prysmian entity in Douvrin (Pas-de-Calais) employs over 350 people.
  • The Prysmian group has over 50 countries, 112 operating sites and 29,000 employees.
  • Prysmian Group sales exceed 11 billion euros.
Orange fined 26 million euros - 09/11/2023
  • Fine imposed on Orange by Arcep: 26 million euros
  • Orange commitment in 2018: Fiber optic coverage of 3,000 communes in less densely populated areas of the country
  • Target connection rate for 2022: 100%
  • According to Arcep, at the beginning of 2022, Orange had only achieved 88% of its coverage target.
  • Number of premises not connected according to Orange: Approximately 540,000.
  • Orange's new commitments: 96% coverage of major cities and 98.5% coverage of medium-sized towns, at a total cost of several hundred million euros.
Fiber-optic light transmission enhanced by Fluoride Glass. - 27/10/2023
  • Light transmission with a "conventional" lens is around 15%.
  • With this innovative technology, only 20% of the signal from the light source is lost.
  • The global spectrometry market is growing by 7% a year.
  • The new lenses, called MicroCurved, are 40% less expensive than "conventional" lenses.
  • The SME hopes to sell "a few hundred" fibers a year until 2025, then "several thousand".
Netalis builds its digital highway from Besançon to Strasbourg - 28/09/2023
  • Number of Netalis business customers: 500
  • Number of Netalis employees: 28
  • Netalis sales: nearly 5 million euros
Telecom operator Celeste acquires Everko | Celeste acquires Everko - 25/09/2023
  • Celeste, founded in 2001, has a network of 12,000 km of optical fiber.
  • By 2022, Celeste has achieved sales of 123 million euros, compared with 80 million in 2021.
  • The company employs 600 people. Celeste has made nine acquisitions in four years.
  • The company has fifteen regional branches.
  • It has a customer portfolio of 20,000 companies.
  • Everko was created in 2014 and brings Celeste 2 million euros in sales and twelve employees.
  • The InfraVia fund acquired a 75% stake in 2019.
  • In 2021, Celeste has arranged bank financing of €260 million.
  • It owns three data centers.
  • Celeste invests thirty million euros a year.
  • The company is aiming for sales of 200 million euros within three years.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Prysmian Group
Acome
Silec Cable (groupe Prysmian)
Orange Groupe
SFR Business
Bouygues Groupe
Free (Iliad)
Covage (Altitude groupe)
Altitude Infra
Axione
Jenoptec
Nordnet (Orange Groupe)

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