French fixed line and wireless operator Bouygues Telecom is upgrading its mobile 3G+ network with DC-HSPA+ technology capable of offering transmission of 42Mbps – a ten-fold improvement on its current optimum rates. 01net quotes Bouygues’ chief executive officer Olivier Roussat as saying that the network overlay will cover Paris, Lyon and Marseille by the end of this year, before being rolled out to ski resorts across France in February 2012 and all other major cities by the middle of 2012. ‘Within 18 months, two thirds of the data traffic will be carried by this new technology,’ said Roussat.
The HSPA+ upgrade is part of the phased transition to 4G LTE technology, although Roussat expects there to be a delay before the advanced technology will be available on a commercial basis. ‘The technology part is easy to implement. In contrast, obtain[ing] permits to install new antennas, including Paris, may take some time,’ he added. Buoygues does not expect the first LTE base station to be online until the second half of 2012, although having opted not to use femtocell technology for HSPA+, it is looking to use it to augment LTE coverage when the 4G network goes live. ‘For the 4G, the femtocell will allow us to improve coverage in buildings significantly,’ Roussat said.