Numericable was a cable operator and telecommunications services company. Numericable was originally created in 2007 from the merger between former competitors Noos and NC Numericable networks. Numericable Group SA was founded in August 2013 to act as the parent company of Numericable group companies and to offer its shares on the stock exchange. The company provides cable broadband services in France, Luxembourg and Portugal, offering digital and analog television, Internet, and phone services to homes. From 2008, Numericable also offered mobile telephone services to its customers.[3]

FoundedAugust 2007
Area served
Metropolitan France, Portugal, Belgium, Luxembourg
Key people
Eric Denoyer (CEO)
Revenue €1,314 million (2013)
Number of employees
2,182 (2013)
Footnotes / references

It was the leading cable television provider and internet access provider in metropolitan France. From 2012, Numericable held the largest high-speed broadband network in France, including a small portion using optical fiber or FTTX.

On September 19, 2013, following failed talks with the French telecommunications company SFR, the company announced it had taken the first steps towards an Initial Public Offering on the NYSE Euronext market in Paris.[4][5]

On March 5, 2014, Numericable, backed by its lead shareholder Altice, made an offer to buy Vivendi's SFR mobile telecommunications affiliate, France's second largest. The bid is said to include about 11 billion euros ($15.2 billion) in cash, 3 billion euros in Numericable’s cable assets and a 750 million-euro capital increase by Altice. Numericable merged with SFR in November 2014 to form Numericable-SFR. In April 2016, the merged company adopted the SFR name across all its businesses.


Origin of the network

From the end of World War II until May 1981, when the French Socialist Party came swept to power with the election of François Mitterrand, the state held a monopoly on the production and distribution of audiovisual programmes on French territory. On July 29, 1982, Law 82-652 abolished the state monopoly and created both a Council and High Authority on Audiovisual Communication to oversee the liberalisation of the French audiovisual sector.[6]

In 1982, the National Cable Plan was approved, with the ambitious goal of connecting one million households within five years and using the most advanced techniques of the time, including fiber-optic technology. In order to finance the project, a public-private partnership was put in place that allowed private operators to utilise the networks set up by France Telecom to commercial ends.[7]

Regulations provided for highly favourable concessions that were awarded to private operators (up to 99 years). Water and Sewage Treatment service providers often diversified into the cable market and used their close ties with local municipalities to win concessions.[8]

On June 6, 1985, the group Lyonnaise des eaux created the company Paris Câble, which would later become Lyonnaise Câble, Noos, and Numericable.[9] Officially launched on November 25, 1986, the launch of the National Cable Plan marked the start of the commercial use of cable networks in Paris. In 1996, 16 regional operators merged into a national player, Lyonnaise Communications.

From Lyonnaise Câble to Noos

In May 2000, Noos became the brand name of Lyonnaise Communications in a move that was accompanied by the harmonization of Lyonnaise’s cable networks.[10] Following its national expansion strategy, Noos took over the cable television assets of French group NTL in November 2001.

At this point, three cable operators were still in business: France Telecom, NC Numericable and Noos.

New fiber optic network and diversification

NC Numericable and Noos merged in 2006.[11] One year later, the brand Noos disappeared and was replaced by the name Numericable.[12] A new logo and marketing campaign was subsequently launched in August 2007. For the first time, all of French cable networks were technically owned by one company.

Mobile virtual network operator

In 2007, Numericable announced that it had signed a deal with Bouygues Telecom to use its mobile network, thereby opening the way to offering mobile services to its customers. The company subsequently launched the service in 2008.[13]

Numericable was launched as a mobile virtual network operator on May 16, 2011, advertising an ‘unlimited’ offer and highlighting its competitiveness. To accompany its business development, Numericable launched a ‘triple play’ internet offer, costing four euros per month, on September 13, 2011.[14][15]

In order to compete with new offers launched by rival company Free, Numericable launched an ‘unlimited’ mobile phone plan costing €19.99 per month on January 23, 2012, contributing to the company’s general move to lower prices.[16]

Launching fiber optic technology in France

To compete with competitors’ Internet terminals, Numericable announced the launch of ‘Box by Numericable’, a product that is both modem and receiver. According to the operator, the box allows access to 300 thematic channels, to the Internet and to make an unlimited number of calls to landlines and mobile numbers in France, as well as to several international locations. For the eligible clients, the Box allows a high-speed internet connection (up to 200 megabytes/second) as long as it is linked to a local network. The Box also gives its clients access to videos on-demand (VOD) and multiple social network applications, such as Twitter.[17]

Initial Public Offering

While the name of the group was Numericable, the management remained legally administered by two separate companies: Numericable SAS and NC Numericable (formerly known as Noos). Ypso Holding S.à r.l. was a holding company controlling Numericable companies, owned by the American Carlyle Group (35%), the British private equity firm Cinven (35%) and Altice, a Luxembourg-based cable operator (30%). On 2 August 2013, Numericable Group SA was formed as the parent company of Numericable group companies.[18]

On September 19, 2013, Numericable Group announced the launch of a legal and financial process aimed at the company’s Initial Public Offering on the Paris stock exchange, regulated by NYSE Euronext. The declared objective was to obtain new financial resources to invest in French fiber-optic development.[19] The shares were offered on 7 November 2013.[20]

Recent news

In November 2014, France’s competition watchdog approved a deal for Numericable to acquire Virgin Mobile France for €325 million.[21]

In December 2016, Altice announced to sell SFR Belux to Telenet for €400 million.[22]


The company provided the following services:

  • Internet or TV access;
  • Internet and telephone access;
  • Internet, telephone and TV access;
  • All the above services including a mobile phone contract.

National Network

Numericable controls the vast majority of the cable network in France, representing some 9.5 million potential households or about 32% of French households.[23] The company has 3.5 million television subscribers, 1,037,000 for internet and 753,000 for telephone services.[24]

As of June 2012, the cable operator counts over a half million high-speed fiber-optic customers and 4.6 million households connected to the network. Later that year in November 2012, a company press release announced that the number had grown to almost 600,000.[25] According to figures published by Arcep, Numericable holds 70% of the high-speed fiber-optic market.[26]

International Network

Numericable also has operations in Luxembourg and Portugal. Before its local subsidiary became independent, Numericable was also present in Belgium.

List of Numericable CEOs

  • Philippe Besnier (March 2005 – August 2008)
  • Pierre Danon (September 2008 – December 2010)
  • Eric Denoyer (December 2010 – present)


After its listing on the Paris NYSE Euronext stock exchange, Numericable main shareholders are the Luxembourg investment fund Altice (30%), which is listed under the ticker ATC on the Amsterdam NYSE Euronext stock exchange since January 2014 and is controlled and led by the French-Israeli investor and telecommunications executive Patrick Drahi, the American private equity group Carlyle Group (26.3%), and the British private equity firm Cinven (18.2%).

2011 Publicity Campaign

In October 2011, Numericable launched a €10 million nationwide advertising campaign with the advertising firm Fred & Farid that featured three fictional creatures that represent the three principal services of the company: television, internet and wireless communications.


  1. "Numericable a dépassé les 500000 abonnés et va continuer d'investir". TF1. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  2. "Numericable Group SA (NUME.PA) Quote". Reuters. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  3. "Numericable va devenir opérateur virtuel de téléphonie mobile". 01Net. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  4. "Company Overview of Numericable SAS". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  5. "France's Numericable eyes 5.6 billion euro valuation with IPO". Reuters UK. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  6. "Chronologie de la politique de l'audiovisuel". 1 January 2010.
  7. "Chronologie de la politique de l'audiovisuel". 1 January 2010.
  8. "La télévision par câble" by José Frèches, collection "Que sais-je ?", Presses universitaires de France, pages 34 to 39
  9. "Renseignements juridiques". société.com. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  10. Garrigos Raphaël (4 May 2000). "Libération".
  11. "UPC-Noos-Numericable devient l'unique câblo-opérateur français". 01Net. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  12. "Noos devient Numericable". L'Express. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  13. "Numericable va devenir opérateur virtuel de téléphonie mobile". 01Net. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  14. "Numericable propose "son" tarif social de l'Internet à 4 euros par mois". ZDNet. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  15. "Numericable lance une offre sociale à 4 euros par mois". DegroupNews. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  16. "Comme Free, Numericable lance un forfait mobile illimité à 19,99 euros". Le Parisien. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  17. "Twitter sur La Box de Numericable : une intégration étroite avec la TV". Clubic. Archived from the original on 22 June 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2013.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  18. "Q3 2013 Results" (PDF). Numericable Group. 28 November 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  19. "France's Numericable eyes 5.6 billion euro valuation with IPO". Reuters UK. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  20. "Success of Numericable Group's IPO". Cinven. 7 November 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  21. "French regulator approves Numericable-Virgin deal" (Press release). Reuters. 27 November 2014.
  22. "Altice to sell SFR BeLux to Telenet for 400 million euros" (Press release). Reuters. 22 December 2016.
  23. "Des ménages toujours plus petits - Projection de ménages pour la France métropolitaine à l'horizon 2030". INSEE. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  24. "Communiqués de Presse". Numericable. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  25. "Numericable poursuit sa croissance au troisième semestre". La Fibre Optique. Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  26. "Observatoires: Haut et Très Haut Débit : marché de détail". Arcep. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
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