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Two French Networks Ordered to Improve 4G Coverage Map Accuracy

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The French telecoms regulator has ordered two of the country's mobile network operators to improve the accuracy of the coverage maps they present to customers.

The regulator, Arcep said that it carried out nearly 300,000 tests of 4G phone coverage and then compared its data to that provided by the mobile networks.

The survey revealed that Bouygues Telecom and Orange 4G maps were accurate, in other words that 4G services were indeed virtually always available in those locations indicated on the operators' maps as having 4G coverage, with the exception of a few rare, temporary inconsistencies.

Free Mobile and especially SFR coverage maps, on the other hand, were less accurate. At Arcep's request, these two operators corrected their 4G maps. They now indicate a lower rate of coverage but are said to be more accurate.

Based on these now verified 4G maps, Arcep has been able to calculate the 4G coverage rate for all four operators. These analyses reveal that Bouygues Telecom and Orange have a strong lead, with respectively 70% and 66% of the population covered for 4G services. Meanwhile, SFR and Free Mobile provide 30% and 24% of the population, respectively, with 4G coverage.

Arcep also conducted surveys to verify the accuracy of operators' 2G and 3G coverage maps. These surveys confirmed a high degree of accuracy, even if a few very local inconsistences still exist.

The rate of coverage calculated based on these maps is as follows:

  • 3G: Orange and SFR services are accessible to around 99% of the population; those supplied by Free Mobile are accessible to around 98.5% of the population, and those supplied by Bouygues Telecom to around 96.5% of the population;
  • 2G: all operators cover more than 99% of the population.

French 4G Coverage in July 2014

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Tags: arcep  4g  France