French operators strike deal with Paris to launch LTE

City authorities in Paris agreed to a deal with France's four mobile operators on the installation of LTE antennas, which will allow the carriers to deploy LTE service in the French capital. The move follows months of disagreement over the transmission levels for LTE services after environmentalists raised health worries over the strength of mobile phone signals.

Concerns had been voiced that Paris could be the last major French city to have LTE services after a charter agreed to in 2003 expired last summer. Its renewal was delayed while discussions took place between the four operators and city officials, with a halt imposed on the installation of LTE transmitters.

The disagreement surrounded operator requests for LTE transmission levels of 10 to 12 volts per meter compared to the previous threshold of 2 volts per meter over a "theoretical average of 24 hours" as detailed within the 2003 charter, according to a report in La Tribune.

The new deal sets maximum levels of exposure in closed living spaces (apartments and offices) to 5 volts per meter for 2G and 3G services, and 7 volts per meter if LTE is operational.

City authorities have also given operators permission to install LTE masts on more than 200 official buildings, or "about half of what it takes to cover Paris," said an unnamed source at a French operator, according to La Tribune.

"The departure of Paris deputy major Denis Green Baupin and the poor results of the Green Party in recent elections have changed the tone of the dialogue. They became much more constructive and pragmatic," another unnamed operator source told the newspaper.

The joint statement from the city of Paris, Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Free Mobile owner Iliad said the deal must still be cleared by a vote from the Paris municipal council in mid-October, according to Reuters.

For more:
- see this La Tribune article (translated via Google Translate)
- see this Reuters article

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