In a speech to the European Commission (EC) France Telecom-Orange CEO Stephane Richard said that the company plans to have rolled out LTE across all of its markets in the European Union (EU) by 2015. The pledge follows a decision by the EU to make more spectrum available for use with LTE. The executive made a number of other statements, including a commitment to launch 3G services in the telco’s African and Middle Eastern markets by the same date. France Telecom-Orange also hopes to provide three million SIM-based NFC devices to European customers this year, rising to ten million devices in 2013.
Meanwhile, in a separate but related story, France Telecom-Orange has announced that it will launch the company’s first pilot LTE service in Marseille in June, as well as continuing to roll out 42Mbps HSPA+. Since beginning deployment of HSPA+ in November 2011 the operator has achieved 50% population coverage. By the end of 2012 this figure is expected to rise to 60% with the addition of further cities including Bordeaux, Nancy, Metz and Toulouse.