French regulator Arcep has granted Societe Reunionnaise de Radiotelephone (SRR), a subsidiary of French operator Societe Francaise du Radiotelephone (SFR), Long Term Evolution (LTE) test spectrum in the 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands. The 4G trial will be undertaken at three cell sites covering the towns of Saint-Denis and Sainte-Marie.
The Paris-based watchdog notes that the trial is the second of its kind to have been authorised in the French overseas territories; last year Saint-Martin-based Dauphin Telecom was issued 800MHz frequencies covering three different islands: Gustavia (Saint-Barthelemy), Saint-Anne (Guadeloupe) and Marigot (Saint- Martin). Arcep also reiterated that it intends to launch a call for commercial 4G applications during the first half of this year, but welcomed any requests for experimentation during the interim period.
Yesterday, TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reported that Outremer Telecom, a subsidiary of Luxembourg-based Altice Group, had enlisted French-US telecoms vendor Alcatel-Lucent to deploy LTE technology in its five markets of operation: French Guiana in South America, Martinique and Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, and Reunion and Mayotte in the Indian Ocean. TeleGeography notes that, if Altice’s recent bid for French mobile giant SFR is accepted, Outremer Telecom and SRR would find themselves sister companies in Reunion and Mayotte, potentially prompting anti-trust concerns.