Monday, December 29, 2014

Bouygues Telecom Launches LTE in Channel Tunnel

French operator Bouygues Telecom has launched LTE service in the Channel Tunnel for subscribers traveling from the U.K. to France, using the 1,800 MHz band. The operator said that its customers will be able to access LTE in the northbound side of the tunnel starting in May 2015, due to a roaming agreement to be signed with an unnamed U.K. operator.

Bouygues’ launch of LTE in the Channel Tunnel is part of a roaming partnership with rail operator Eurotunnel and U.K. operators EE, O2 and Vodafone. Bouygues is the only French operator to offer the high-speed mobile service to its subscribers, though for the time being it is only available in the southbound side of the tunnel. The fact that Bouygues rolled out its domestic LTE service on the 1,800 MHz band made it “the natural choice of partner for Eurotunnel, alongside other telecoms operators,” as a press release from the operator stated. Olivier Roussat, Chairman and CEO of Bouygues, said, “For us, it is further proof that our decision to use the 1,800 MHz frequency band was a pertinent strategy.”

Bouygues, as well as French operators Orange and SFR, launched 3G connectivity in the tunnel in the northbound direction in 2012, in time for the London Olympics. Full 3G connectivity in both directions took until May 2014, due at least in part to the technological challenges inherent in routing wireless signals to a tunnel that lies 100 meters below sea level. As of mid-December, subscribers of the three British MNOs have LTE access in both directions of the tunnel.

The above item appeared in a recent issue of The Tarifica Alert, a weekly resource that analyzes noteworthy developments in the telecoms industry from around the world. To access all of the latest articles and issues or to speak with the research team:

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