France’s independent telecoms regulator, the National Agency of Frequencies (ANFR), has published its monthly update on the number of 2G, 3G and 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) base transceivers stations (BTS) in the country, reporting that it has authorised a total of 15,659 sites for LTE use by 1 June 2014, up 4.5% month-on-month; 13,382 of these BTS are currently in service.
Orange France, the country’s leading cellco in terms of subscribers, has been authorised to operate 4,884 BTS in the 2.6GHz frequency band, with 4,775 of these sites in service, while of its permitted 3,223BTS in the 800MHz band, 3,132 are operational.
Meanwhile, SFR has been authorised to build a total of 3,756 4G-enabled sites in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz frequency bands, with 2,282 of them operational.
Free Mobile, however, had just 1,360 BTS in operation, out of 2,243 authorised sites in the 2.6GHz band.
Bouygues Telecom, which is the only French mobile operator to hold a licence for LTE services in the 1800MHz band, had permission to operate 6,530 LTE-enabled sites (with 5,579 of these in service), although only 1,495 of its 4,603 BTS in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands are said to be operational.
Meanwhile, in the month under review, the number of 3G sites in France marginally increased to 38,580 BTS by 1 June (up from 38,485 on 1 May 2014), while the number of 2G-enabled sites reached 38,884, flat compared to the 38,849 BTS reported a month earlier