France Telecom CEO Stéphane Richard has committed the company to deploying LTE across its European operations by 2015.
In a speech to members of the European Commission and Parliament and the EU's digital agenda commissioner, Neelie Kroes, Richard said that this decision followed a move by the EU to make more frequencies available for use with LTE.
But Richard added in his speech: "Europe could do a great deal to promote a more favourable environment for the roll-out of radio access networks," according to Mobile Today. Tensions have recently risen between Richard and the EU. Richard hit back last week at the suggestion made by the European Commission (EC) that France Telecom and four other major European telcos were colluding on standardisation matters.
However, Richard used the occasion to outline 10 commitments France Telecom would make with regard to its future business strategy.
- Tripling the number of NFC-enabled devices to EU customers by next year. It is rolling out three million SIM-based NFC devices to European customers this year with 10 million predicted for 2013.
- Pushing forward with its joint venture with O2 and Vodafone to deploy mobile wallet services. "Orange, together with its industry partners, is developing an open, interoperable and secure platform for the deployment of NFC services," Richard said. "In this context, the European Commission and EU member states could push for the wider adoption of NFC services, rendered both secure and open by SIM-based technology."
- Launch Rich Communication Suite (RCS) services in five European countries in 2013 and provide 20 million RCS phones in 15 countries by 2015.
- Provide its customers with the right to master, monitor and manage the personal information that they provide on Orange platforms for all Orange-managed services, and equip them with a personal data dashboard by 2015.
- Roll out 3G by 2015 in all African and Middle-East countries where Orange operates; offer mobile coverage to over 80 per cent of the population in this region.
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