French consumer watchdog files a complaint against Orange, SFR

6 Nov 2013

France’s consumer watchdog UFC Que Choisir has filed a complaint against mobile operators Orange France and SFR for using ‘deceptive business and marketing practices’ after observing discrepancies between the advertised and actual coverage and speeds of their respective 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks. According to a press release, the organisation conducted field tests in the capital Paris by taking over 60,000 measurements using Samsung Galaxy S3 4G-enabled handsets. While both Orange and SFR claim to offer full LTE coverage of the capital, UFC Que Choisir has established that Orange France’s 4G network was only available in 79.3% of the capital, with a part of southwest Paris not covered by the network, while SFR’s LTE network was available in less than 75% of Paris. On the other hand, Bouygues’ 4G services were available in 99.4% of the capital, close to the advertised 100% coverage. According to Reuters, both Orange and SFR have responded to the accusations; Orange representatives said that the company was meeting its commitments in terms of coverage and pointed out that it is ‘currently the only operator to offer the maximum speed on its network’, while SFR has reiterated its August promise that it is aiming for 100% LTE coverage by the end of 2013.

France, Bouygues Telecom, Orange France, SFR