Bouygues Telecom has become the latest mobile operator in France to announce interest in LTE-A, the next generation of mobile network.
Most operators in Europe have some form of LTE coverage, often known as 4G. LTE-A, short for LTE-Advanced, is the successor to LTE and promises higher speeds than 4G currently offers.
Bouygues said on Friday it would be rolling out LTE-A in the French cities of Bordeaux and Lyon from June next year, bringing theoretical maximum download speeds of up to 182Mbps.
According to the operator, devices will need LTE-A-compatible chipsets to be able to use the network, and it expects the hardware to be available from the second quarter of this year.
The technology works by allowing operators to aggregate frequencies — 2600MHz, 1800MHz or 800MHz bands — to increase speeds. The wider the band, the better the top speed the network can deliver.
Bougyues' competitor SFR has already started experimenting with LTE-A in the city of Marseille, but has not yet said when it will rollout the technology commercially.
Other operators getting a head start on LTE-A in Europe include Vodafone and O2 in Germany, and EE in the UK.