French mobile operator SFR has selected Alcatel-Lucent to carry out a major expansion and upgrade of its 2G/3G networks. In addition, the French-US manufacturer will start work on a trial of Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband technology for the cellco. The deals will help SFR to realise a smooth upgrade path to HSPA+ as it looks to meet growing demand for mobile broadband services. Under the agreement, Alca-Lu will provide its Converged RAN (radio access network) solution to SFR, enabling the cellco to reach a greater number of subscribers and further improve its services. The vendor’s RAN platform based on the newly announced MC-TRX radio module, which is capable of delivering 2G and 3G, and which will evolve smoothly towards LTE. Meanwhile, the trial of so-called ‘4G’ technology will include the delivery of an end-to-end LTE solution including base stations (eNodeBs), Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and associated management systems. SFR hopes to use the pilot network to evaluate the performance of LTE services and opportunities to introduce new multimedia applications.