France’s third-largest cellular operator by subscribers, Bouygues Telecom, has confirmed that it will launch its 1800MHz 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network next week, with initial coverage of some 40 million people, or 63% of the country’s population. The firm is offering users with an LTE-capable handset a free, no obligation one-week trial of its service. Bouygues says it is launching with the widest 4G coverage of any French operator; its two larger rivals, Orange and SFR, both introduced LTE technology in November last year, with Orange now claiming a network footprint in around 15 cities, while SFR claimed six cities were covered by its own infrastructure by August this year. The new Bouygues network will operate in the 1800MHz band; it launched a limited 2600MHz LTE service in eight markets in April 2013.
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