France’s independent telecoms regulator, National Agency of Frequencies (ANFR), has published its monthly report on the number of 2G, 3G and 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) base transceivers stations (BTS), reporting that it has authorised a total of 12,525 sites for LTE use by 1 January 2014, up by 3.8% from a month earlier, with 10,497 of these base stations currently in service. Orange has been authorised to operate 3,820 BTS in the 2.6GHz frequency band, with 3,649 of these sites in service, while of the permitted 1,678 BTS in the 800MHz band, 1,477 are operational.
Meanwhile, SFR has been authorised to build a total of 1,961 4G-enabled sites in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz frequency bands, with 1,294 of them operational. Free Mobile, however, had just 824 BTS in operation, out of 1,501 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 6,655 LTE-enabled sites (up from 3,353 authorised BTS a month earlier), although only 714 of its 2,953 BTS in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands are said to be operational.
In the month under review, the number of 3G sites in France marginally increased to 37,988 BTS by 1 January (up from 37,929 in December 2013), while the number of licensed 2G-enabled sites reached 38,642, a 0.2% increase on the 38,558 BTS reported on 1 December 2013.