SFR has become the first operator in France to commercially launch LTE with its network going live for consumers and business customers in Lyon.
Montpellier will become the second city to have the network on 18 December with Lille, Marseille, Strasbourg and Toulouse to follow in the first half of 2013. SFR conducted a pilot of the technology during the summer with 400 clients in Lyon.
Vivendi-owned SFR is offering the Samsung Galaxy SIII 4G, HTC One XL and Motorola Razr HD smartphones along with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 4G tablet and 4G Internet Key.
The network claims to offer download speeds that are five times faster than 3G and 10 times faster for upload. Price plans start at EUR49.99 per month with data plans of between 2GB and 6GB.
According to Reuters, France Telecom and Bouygues Telecom are planning commercial launches of their 4G networks early next year. All three will be hoping the introduction of 4G technology will win back business lost as a result of increased competition from low-cost Free Mobile, which began operating at the beginning of 2012
It was confirmed yesterday that SFR plans to reduce its headcount by more than 850 jobs as a result of the increased competition in 2012.