Virgin Mobile France plans LTE launch in 2014

Virgin Mobile unveiled plans to offer LTE services in France after signing a "4G Full MVNO" contract with Bouygues Telecom to use the operator's LTE and 3G networks, although it's not clear how this arrangement will affect the MVNO's existing network deals with Orange France and SFR.

Richard Branson tipped his hat to Iliad's Free Mobile.

Bouygues Telecom confirmed the deal to French newspaper Le Monde, although the operator noted that Virgin would not launch LTE services until the first half of 2014. On Oct. 1, Bouygues Telecom will become the third French operator after SFR and Orange to launch LTE services.

Le Monde added that like its French rivals, Virgin Mobile France is hoping that new LTE services will help repair some of the damage caused to its client base by enfant terrible IFree Mobile, which unleashed a price war on France's mobile market at the start of 2012: according to the paper, the MVNO has seen the number of its subscribers fall from 2 million at the end of 2011 to 1.7 million.

In an interview with Les Echos in Paris, Virgin founder Richard Branson said he had the utmost respect for Iliad-owned Free Mobile. "I take off my hat to Free Mobile," he said. "They created their own revolution."

For more:
- see this Total Telecom article
- see this Le Monde article (translated via Google Translate)
- see this Les Echos article (translated via Google Translate)

Related Articles:
SFR launches LTE in Paris as Bouygues Telecom unveils prices
Bouygues Telecom plans wide LTE launch in October
Battle-scarred France Telecom sees salvation in LTE
French operators under pressure as costs rise, but revenues drop

Suggested Articles

Sprint said it will offer discounted service to customers age 55 and above.

Unlimited data plans placed a strain on carrier networks last year, but according to OpenSignal the carriers met the challenge.

Verizon plans to bring 5G to four U.S. cities this year and hopes to have standards-based equipment in place for some of those deployments.