T-Mobile Czech Republic, Belgium’s BASE and France’s Bouygues Telecom have launched commercial 4G LTE networks in their respective countries this week.
According to T-Mobile CR, the new network will cover Prague and Mlada Boleslav, with the former’s coverage set to reach 50 percent by the end of the year.
The operator, which competes with Telefonica and Vodafone, has not revealed the tariffs of its new service.
Milan Haba, Vice President Category & Product Management at T-Mobile CR, said: “T-Mobile has the fastest 3G network in the Czech Republic and also wants to be the leader in 4G technology.”
The operator is “the only Czech operator to have successfully passed the joint testing with Apple and its iPhone devices,” he added.
In Belgium, BASE became the second LTE operator to go live in the country. The KPN subsidiary, the country’s smallest operator, said the network would cover 15 cities at launch, including Bruges, Liege and Ostende.
However, the capital city of Brussels would only get the service at an unspecified future date.
The company, which competes with Belgacom’s Proximus and Orange’s Mobistar, said that customers using 4G-compatible devices on unlimited tariffs will get LTE connectivity at no extra cost.
“Rolling out 4G is necessary in order to meet the new needs of our customers,” commented BASE chief executive Jos Donvil. “In recent years we’ve seen the number of smartphones and the data usage on these devices skyrocket.”
Meanwhile, France’s third largest operator Bouygues Telecom has also launched its 4G LTE service.
The operator said that the new network would offer coverage for 70 percent of business premises and 63 percent of homes in France at launch.
Interestingly, Bouygues has rolled out their new network with a free one month trial. The cheapest SIM-only plan from Bouygues starts at €29.99 per month for 3GB of data.
Bouygues Telecom’s CEO, Olivier Roussat, commented: "We are offering the opportunity to 40 million French people to discover 4G for free and with no obligation."
The firm claims that its LTE launch is ahead of schedule although rivals Orange and Vivendi owned SFR already have 4G services up and running.
Last week, eircom announced it had become the first operator in Ireland to
launch a 4G LTE network.
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