Alcatel-Lucent and SHD had signed a two-year contract for the supply and installation of the first next-generation WiMAX network in France, using standard 802.16e-2005.
SHD, Société du Haut Débit, is a corporate joint venture held by SFR (66%) and Neuf Cegetel (34%), and partnered by the Group Groupe CANAL+. In July 2006 SHD received licenses to use WiMAX radio local loop frequencies in the Ile-de-France and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regions.
Alcatel-Lucent will equip the planned sites of SHD’s WiMAX network in the Ile-de-France (IDF) and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) regions by mid-2009. The first sites are already operational in the Paris region due to a pilot network deployed at the end of 2006 and will be operational in the PACA region this summer, thanks to the second pilot network deployed by SHD and Alcatel-Lucent.
The new radio network will use the 3.4 – 3.6 GHz frequency band. It will enable professional and residential subscribers alike to connect to broadband Internet in fixed and nomadic environments in areas with little or no DSL coverage.
“This first deployment of a WiMAX 802.16e-2005 network in France follows several similar contracts won by Alcatel-Lucent in other European countries since the beginning of the year”, said Olivier Picard, President of Alcatel-Lucent’s Europe and South activities. “This first WiMAX reference in France confirms Alcatel-Lucent’s commitment to this technology, which is at the core of our universal broadband access strategy. It shows moreover that we are devoting the best of our R&D resources to satisfy our customers in France and throughout the world.”
“This contract follows on from the success of the first pilot WiMAX network deployed by Alcatel-Lucent for SHD last December on ten sites in the Paris region,” commented Frédéric Laforest, Executive Vice-President of SHD. “WiMAX gives the possibility of distributing state-of-the-art services, particularly in rural or urban regions that today lack sufficient connectivity. We considered that Alcatel-Lucent’s solution offered the best performance and was the most innovative.”
Alcatel-Lucent will also qualify advanced WiMAX terminals complying with standard IEEE 802.16e-2005, aided by one of the world’s leading suppliers.