First WiMAX network in France

Alcatel-Lucent and SHD, a joint venture between mobile phone providers SFR and Neuf Cegetel, have announced a two-year contract for the supply and installation of the first WiMAX network in France.

The new radio network, based on the standard IEEE 802.16e-2005, will use the 3.4 – 3.6GHz frequency band that will allow subscribers to connect to broadband internet in areas with little or no DSL coverage.

Alcatel-Lucent will equip the planned sites of SHD’s WiMAX network in the Ile-de-France and Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur regions by mid-2009. Ten sites are already operating in the Paris region after a pilot network was installed at the end of 2006.

‘WiMAX gives the possibility of distributing services in rural or urban regions that lack sufficient connectivity,’ said Frederic Laforest, executive vice-president of SHD.