International carrier Orange/France Telecom has committed itself to rolling out LTE networks across ten European countries by 2015. France Telecom’s CEO Stéphane Richard made the announcement at a meeting with the European Commission in Brussels this week.
The move is designed to help the EU reach its targets set out in it Digital Agenda, which aims to ensure that everyone in Europe has access to broadband by 2013 assisted by the release of harmonized band of radio spectrum for use with LTE. It also forms one of Orange’s “10 commitments”, which the company has set for itself in regards to networks and services.
“”[Orange will] roll out 4G/LTE networks in all Orange European Union markets by 2015.” Richard said. “We welcome the EU decision to make more spectrum available, in a timely and harmonised manner, to wireless services in the EU, and look forward to further, similar initiatives to help us cope with the massive growth in public data use.”
However, Richard also added that, “Europe could do a great deal to promote a more favourable environment for the roll-out of radio access networks”.
In the UK, Everything Everywhere, the joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile, has already announced that it wishes to have a live LTE service running by the end of the year, by refarming spare 1800MHz spectrum, a proposal that the regulator Ofcom has said that it is considering.
The other countries scheduled for LTE are France, Spain, Belgium, Luxemburg, Armenia, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
Orange is a host parter of the LTE World Summit taking place on the 23-24 May 2012 CCIB, Barcelona, Spain. Eduardo Duato, CTO, Orange, Spain is giving a keynote speech on Day Two of the conference. Click here to register your interest.