Paris gets its first LTE coverage

Mobile networks Orange and SFR have switched on 4G LTE services in one district of Paris each, with Orange aiming to cover the whole of the French capital by the end of this year.

Orange has switched on 4G long-term evolution (LTE) services in Paris, becoming the first operator to do so in the French capital.

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Orange's LTE services went live on Monday in the Opéra area of Paris, with the rest of the city to get the 4G network coverage by the end of the year.

The operator is expanding its 4G device line-up beyond its previous enterprise focus--only one tablet and a dongle are currently available--from next month, adding the Samsung Galaxy S III 4G, Nokia Lumia 920, and HTC One SV.

Orange plans to have LTE in 15 cities by end of this year: Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Chartres, Orleans, Dunkirk, Nancy, Metz, Clermont-Ferrand, Grenoble, and Annecy are scheduled to get 4G access in April, while Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, and Lille are already live.

Lyon was also the site of France's first commercial LTE service, which operator SFR deployed late last year.

SFR announced on Tuesday that it has also rolled out LTE in Paris, just one day after its competitor. SFR has chosen the business district of La Défense for its deployment.

Rival French mobile operator Bouygues conducted the first LTE pilot in the city in 2012, and is now in the process of rolling out 4G services in France's main cities.