According to a report by Romanian business daily Finantistii, Orange Romania invested around EUR110 million (USD137.6 million) in the expansion of its 3G network during 2011, increasing coverage from 55% to 98% in the process. According to Madalina Suceveanu, technical manager for Orange Romania, in 1Q12 alone data traffic in rural areas increased 182% on an annualised basis, suggesting that Orange’s strategy is already starting to pay off. ‘About 2,000 radio stations have been upgraded from 2G to 3G and over 2,000 radio relay links were changed. Replacement equipment reduced the power consumption of the operator’ Suceveanu added. Downlink transmission speeds now reach up to 14.4Mbps in rural locations, with 21 cities currently offering 3G download speeds of up to 21.6Mbps. Meanwhile, DC-HSPA+ transfer speeds of up to 43.2Mbps are now available in Bucharest, Timisoara, Cluj-Napoca, Iasi and Constanta. Going forward, general manager Jean-Francois Fallacher has indicated that: ‘Ideally speaking, we [could] launch 4G services tomorrow if we had bought licences and frequencies for these services [had been] issued’.