Orange France, the country’s leading mobile operator, has signed an agreement with state-owned public transport operator the Regie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP) to deploy 3G and 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks in the Paris metro and the RER, an underground rail system which serves Paris and its suburbs. France Mobiles reports that subscribers to Orange France will be able to access the internet though the mobile operator’s HSPA+ and LTE networks across the entire metro line 1, in addition to the A and B lines of the RER. Under the terms set out by the agreement, 170 stations on the network will be connected by 2015, offering mobile broadband service to 75% of all commuters, with plans to cover the whole of the RATP network by end-2016. Orange France director Delphine Ernotte said: ‘Orange, true to its goal to provide the best networks in any location, will bring mobile broadband to its customers in the Paris metro and RER; Orange will not only modernise its existing 2G and 3G equipment, but it will deploy more 4G, as it has already done for a very large part of the Paris inhabitants.’
Further, the mobile operator has revealed that its budget brand Sosh will include access to its LTE network from 9 January 2014. Subscribers to the EUR24.99 (USD34.18) plan, which includes a 5GB data allowance, will be able access the internet at maximum download speeds of 100Mbps-150Mbps. Existing Sosh subscribers will automatically benefit from the upgrade from 9 January. As of December 2013, the operator had 4,604 LTE-enabled antennas in 1,102 towns throughout the country.