France's government-funded LTE trial attracts little interest

The French government is providing €3 million to fund a trial of LTE services in the city of Brest. The trial, labelled ImaginLabs, aims to investigate and encourage the development of new services that can take advantage of the performance of LTE.

However, the trial has only managed to interest a small number of the larger industry players, with Alcatel-Lucent supplying the 2.6 GHz LTE infrastructure and Orange Labs and ST-Ericsson providing their specialist expertise.

The LTE trial network, which will initially see 100 city residents being equipped with dongles, will test the suitability of LTE to deliver cloud-based services, video calls, online interactive gaming and HDTV. ImaginLabs said that additional technology tests will also be undertaken to better understand integration, interoperability and potential interference issues.

ImaginLabs has also confirmed that it has been authorised by the government to conduct similar trials in the 791-862 MHz band.

Commenting on the trial, Michel Corriou from ImaginLabs said that the goal was simple: to encourage the development of new services by working with those involved in the LTE value chain. "This is to anticipate the use and to prepare the ground for commercial launches," said Corriou, as reported by ZDnet.Fr.

This move by the French government to fund this trial comes only weeks after it awarded 2.6 GHz licences to the four operators that bid a total of €936 million for the available spectrum.

For more:
- see this ZDnet.Fr article (translated via Google Translate)
- see this 01net article (translated via Google Translate)

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