The number of LTE cell sites in operation across mainland France increased to 32,200 as of 01 December, according to the latest figures from spectrum agency ANFR. Orange maintained the lead in cell site activations for a second consecutive month, adding 391 during November and attaining 13,723 overall. For the same period, the operator announced on its website that 95 percent of the French population was reached by its LTE services, with a 99 percent target for the end of 2018.
The pace of Bouygues Telecom’s activations picked up month-on-month to 176, as it maintained a narrow lead in overall active antennas (14,078). Bouygues Telecom’s LTE footprint covered 94 percent of the French population in early November.
SFR had 13,726 antennas in service (+235 from the previous month), while Free Mobile‘s footprint increased by 242 to reach 9,409.
The number of authorised cell sites in France and the overseas territories rose by 1.4 percent month-on-month to 38,159. The 800 MHz band continued to be the most commonly used (30,089 authorised sites), followed by the 1,800 MHz band (26,070) and the 2.6 GHz band (24,762).
Nearly all of the 1,415 cell sites authorised in the 700 MHz band were deployed by Free Mobile, while Bouygues Telecom led in the 2.1 GHz band, which counted 543 sites overall since it started being used for LTE services in the second half of the year.