Country cousins SFR, Orange, Bouygues sharing rural UMTS-900 network

27 Oct 2010

Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) has announced that it is working with French mobile operator SFR to build and share a 3G/3.5G mobile network covering rural France, under a plan to give access to subscribers of SFR’s domestic rivals Orange France and Bouygues Telecom. SFR has selected the Finnish vendor to modernise and expand its W-CDMA/HSPA+ network in the 900MHz frequency band to cover more of the population with 3G services. NSN said its Flexi Multiradio Base Station is ‘optimised to facilitate active radio network sharing.’ Under the scope of a three-year deal, NSN will deliver base stations, deploy 3G/3.5G 900MHz technology and also modernise SFR’s existing GSM network. The vendor will provide managed services as part of the contract.

As reported by CommsUpdate, in February 2010 SFR awarded NSN a three-year contract to expand its mobile broadband coverage, enhance service quality and pilot Long Term Evolution (LTE) services. Under the deal, of undisclosed value, NSN will upgrade SFR’s radio network and provide, operate and maintain new all-IP packet core technology capable of supporting 4G. The deal followed closely two network contracts awarded by SFR to Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei Technologies.