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1.1. Presentation and market definition

Optical fibre, a technology that has long been mastered, particularly in underwater telecommunications cables, is becoming the main technology for Internet access. This allows data rates to circulate that are unequalled by other technologies currently on the market (ADSL, satellite), both in transmission and in reception.

To make this technology operational for as many people as possible, it is therefore necessary to deploy these fibre optic cables to every home and house that may need them. Thus, the French government has established several guidelines as part of its France Très Haut Débit plan, which is expected to link the whole country to fibre by 2022.

The optical fibre market is therefore undeniably a very rapidly developing sector, now and in the coming years. French manufacturers are also Europe's leading specialists in the production of optical fibre cables. However, there are some limiting factors, such as the threat of foreign competition, particularly from China, the risk of a lack of production capacity for this major plan, or technological competition linked to the advent of 5G.

Finally, on the side of access providers, the four major French operators have obviously seized this opportunity, and are more or less equitably preparing for the deployment of fibre, mainly over the last few kilometres of deployment (connection of housing).

1.2. Massive development on a global scale

Estimated at $*.* billion for ****, the global fiber optic market is expected to reach $*.* billion by ****, a compound growth rate of **.*% over this period. [***]
The predominant customer market is obviously the telecommunications market, since optical fibre is mainly used for data transmission over long distances. However, other industries are also present in ...

1.3 In France, the objective of deployment for all is

The regulatory authority for electronic communications and posts, ARCEP is the leading institute in France for the deployment of communication technologies, particularly optical fibre. Its latest report on this technology mentions *.* million lines eligible for optical fibre, or more than *.* million in one year and the equivalent of **.* million premises eligible ...

1.4. Summary of market determinants


2.1. France in very high speed broadband by 2022

The French objectives on the deployment of optical fibre and, more broadly, very high speed broadband (***).
State of deployment of optical fibre in France Data as at ** June ****, updated on * September ****

Source: ****
According to data from the Arcep as of ** March ****, the total number of homes eligible for very high speed ...

2.2. Limiting factors

The deployment of fibre requires that the territory be completely covered with these new connectors, unlike ADSL (***), which used copper networks to transmit information, i.e. the same as those of the telephone. [***]
In June ****, some concerns were raised in some French departments about the shortage of fibre optic cable resources, ...

2.3. some other uses of optical fibre

In addition to the use of optical fibre in the telecommunications sector, thicker fibres are used in medicine, particularly in the design of gastroscopes, which are useful for examining stomach diseases. This application of optical fibres is also used in industry, with similar tools such as the fibroscope, used to examine ...

2.4 End consumers: some indicators

Number of subscribers to Very High Speed Internet
In France, the number of Very High Speed Internet subscriptions (***) exceeded ** million in Q* ****. This share increased by **% compared to Q* ****. [***] Of these, *.* million subscriptions are linked to end-to-end fibre optics.

Source: ****
Distribution and nature of subscribers
A study by ARCEP and CREDOC, ...


3.1. three production plants in France

The first optical fibres were manufactured in the ****s. [***]. Today it is a technology largely through a few production plants located in France, the largest of which belongs to the Italian group Prysmian.
Prysmian, Douvrain (***)
This mastodon produces ** million kilometers of lens reforms per year each year, an essential component of ...

3.2. European leader and Asian competition

France is a leader in the production of optical fibre, with **% of this market in the European Union and a total of ** million kilometres produced in ****. [***]
However, some *** million kilometres were sold that same year worldwide, leaving France with a *% market share worldwide. [***] China produces about *** million kilometres, holding more than ...

3.3. steps for the deployment of optical fibre

The national, regional and global Internet network, called backbone, is composed of very high speed fibres, generally optical fibre. They are mainly submarine and underground cables connecting different countries to each other. To function, the Internet mainly passes through the seabed: **% of intercontinental communications pass through submarine cables. [***] The remaining *% goes ...


4.1. Two types of products

There are two main types of optical fibres:
Multimode fibers, in which there are different modes of light propagation within the core of the fiber. Single mode fibers, in which there is only one mode of light propagation, the straight line mode.
Among multimode fibres, we can also distinguish multimode fibres ...

4.2 Comparison of offers with optical fibre

Internet service providers all promote Internet offers with fibre optic, with different guaranteed speeds and variable rates. The first cost concerns grid connection costs. The tariffs of the four operators are as follows [***] :
Orange charges ***€ for an underground or overhead connection. Bouygues offers the first ** metres of fibre. Beyond a **-metre ...

4.3. Optical fiber or 5G?

*G, which is beginning to be deployed in France, offers theoretical median speeds of around *.* Gbit/s, compared to fibre offers, which in reality offer speeds between *** Mbit/s and * Gbit/s in reception, and between ** Mbit/s and *** Mbit/s in transmission. These performances are therefore comparable to optical fibre ...


5.1. Regulatory framework for optical fibre

Very dense and less dense areas
The list of municipalities belonging to very dense or, conversely, less dense population areas (***):
Bordeaux Clermont-Ferrand Grenoble (***) Lille (***) Lyon (***) Marseille Metz Montpellier Nancy Nantes Nice (***) Orléans Paris (***) Poitiers Rennes Rouen Saint-Etienne Strasbourg Toulon Toulouse Tours
The latest estimates give a total number of *.* million ...



  • Prysmian Group
  • Acome
  • Silec Cable (groupe Prysmian)
  • Orange
  • SFR Business
  • Bouygues
  • Free

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