Like every month, ANFR just published its observatory deployments of mobile networks. On 4G, Free Mobile has done a very nice deployment effort. Moreover, this is the first time that the mobile operator has an active antenna in the 1800 MHz band.
That’s it, Free Mobile has finally officially turning a 4G antenna transmitting on the 1800 MHz band as the numbers show ARCEP. The operator has a total of 20 licenses and had already made transmission tests on the 1800 MHz band. This time, they are not tested and the operator is authorized to issue at greater than 5 watts power. Orange also has permissions to issue in the 1800 MHz band (40 in all) but should, in theory, wait 26 May 2016 to begin broadcasting.
Free Mobile retains its first place in terms of deployment efforts: the operator has deployed 194 additional antennas an increase of 4.35%. This is much better than SFR with an increase of 2.35% (97 additional antennas) and Orange with 1.68% (176 additional antennas). Bouygues Telecom was down slightly (-0.23%) as the operator has withdrawn 29 antennas in the 800 MHz band but added one in the 2600 MHz band and 7 in the 1800 MHz band.
Finally, Orange distance increasingly Bouygues Telecom in terms of coverage (the latest figures announced 76% of population for Orange in July and 72% for Bouygues Telecom in June). As for Free Mobile, he catches more SFR and even exceeds this summer in the number of antennas. Free Mobile now has 420 additional antennas facing SFR. But do not forget that it has branches in the 800 MHz band (2600 MHz against for Free and in the 1800 MHz band), which carry much further and allow better penetrate buildings. Free Mobile Announces 4G population coverage of around 50% since last August against 53% for SFR to 31 December, a figure that takes into account the roaming agreement with Bouygues Telecom. In fact, the two operators have to be very close in terms of 4G coverage.