The French mobile operator SFR (Société Française de Radiotéléphone) has told online news portal Telecompaper that it has beaten its target for 2.5 million 3G/3.5G users by the end of 2006, although it declined to provide exact numbers. SFR set the target in October, at which time it had two million 3G customers, and says that it has also fulfilled its goal of providing coverage of 65% population coverage for its W-CDMA and HSDPA networks by 31 December, up from the 45% figure reported two months earlier.
According to Telegeography’s GlobalComms database, in February 2006 SFR announced it was launching trials of its HSDPA mobile network in Saint Nazaire, and Dijon from 1 March, using PC data cards, offering speeds of 1.8Mbps, rising to 3.6Mbps in 2007. In May the operator confirmed it was equipping its W-CDMA network with HSDPA technology from Siemens of Germany, and said it was launching the new service, called 3G+, in the western region of Nantes/Saint Nazaire/Rennes. The following month Nokia completed the rollout of HSDPA technology for SFR in Paris and Southern France as part of a radio network contract extended in May 2006.
SFR is the first French mobile operator to launch HSDPA technology commercially on its core W-CDMA network.