Bouygues Telecom launches HSDPA for laptops

Having come very late to the 3G market, France's 3rd largest mobile operator, Bouygues Telecom, has launched a HSDPA-based network that it will market for the specific use of laptop PC users.

The company, which would have been fined by the French telecoms regulator, Arcep, equal to five percent of annual sales if it had failed to use its 3G license prior to the end of this month, launched the service today running at 6.7Mbps with coverage of 11 major cities, or around 20 percent of the French population.

The company, which has less than a 17 percent share of the French mobile subscriber base, said it would dissuade handset owners from using HSDPA and would only sell a USB wireless dongle allowing laptop users to access mobile Internet services. The deal will restrict subscribers to a 200Mbs data limit for €29.90 a month with a 24 month-contract, and €34.90 with a 1 year contract. Alternatively, business users can sign up for unlimited data transfers for €69 a month on a 24 month-basis, or €74 a month for a year-long contract.

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