According to an unconfirmed report by Chronicle.lu, Orange Luxembourg has lined up 100 so-called ‘ambassadors’ to test its in-deployment Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, which already covers around 60% of the population. Half of the participants will comprise local Orange employees, whilst the remainder will be made up of residential and business customers; all ambassadors will be provided with an LTE-enabled Galaxy Tab 8.9. The network, which is currently concentrated in the southern and central parts of the country, as well as heavily populated parts of the north of the country, offers downlink transmission speeds of up to 50Mbps, although Orange expects to double these to 100Mbps in due course. Further, the operator anticipates that its first commercial offers will be unveiled in the coming months. The website quotes Patrick Ittah, Orange Luxembourg’s managing director, as saying: ‘Following its investment policy in Luxembourg, Orange has rolled out the networks of tomorrow in order to keep Luxembourg at the forefront in this field. We are proud to say that Luxembourg will be one of Europe’s pioneers in 4G technology. By investing in tomorrow’s technologies today, we offer our customers unprecedented services on the Orange network, with ambitions to offer the best speed and coverage. For the first time mobile technology is able to offer the same performances as landline high speed networks’.
According to TeleGeography’s GCD, third-placed player Orange Luxembourg was authorised by the Institut Luxembourgeois de Regulation (ILR) to carry out a six-month LTE trial during the second half of 2010, in conjunction with parent company France Telecom-Orange and French-US vendor Alcatel-Lucent. Although the trial concluded with a successful demonstration in front of the local press, the operator revealed that the deployment of LTE in the 2.5GHz frequency band was likely to present a serious risk of interference to neighbouring countries, effectively sending the ILR back to the drawing board.