18,087 LTE BTS now authorised in France

7 Nov 2014

France’s National Agency of Frequencies (ANFR), has published its monthly update on the number of 4G base transceiver stations (BTS) in the country, reporting that it has authorised a total of 18,087 sites for Long Term Evolution (LTE) in use by 1 November 2014, up 3.3% month-on-month; 14,639 of these BTS are currently in service.

Orange France, the country’s leading cellco in terms of subscribers, has been authorised to operate 5,539 BTS in the 2600MHz frequency band, with 5,023 of these sites in service, while of its permitted 4,077 BTS in the 800MHz band, 3,336 are operational.

Meanwhile, SFR has been authorised to build a total of 3,828 4G-enabled sites in the 800MHz and 2600MHz frequency bands, with 2,522 of them operational.

Free Mobile, however, had just 1,694 BTS in operation, out of 3,754 authorised sites in the 2600MHz band.

For its part Bouygues Telecom, which is the only French mobile operator to hold a licence for LTE services in the 1800MHz band, had permission to operate 7,186 LTE-enabled sites (with 6,324 of these in service), although only 2,079 of its 5,917 BTS in the 800MHz and the 2600MHz bands are said to be operational.

Meanwhile, in the month under review, the number of 3G sites in France marginally increased with 1,714 to 40,060 BTS by 1 November (with 36,834 of these in service at that date), while the number of 2G-enabled sites reached 40,580, up 6% month-on-month.