Femtocell technology is helping leading service providers to differentiate on user experience

Posted by Keith Day

France is a highly competitive telecommunications market, with a combination of tech-savvy consumers with high expectations, powerful multi-play operators, and a regulator committed to enabling a rapid market and tech evolution.

SFR is the #2 service provider in France, and is a pioneer of femtocell technology. It was the first operator in France to offer femtocells to its customers, the first in the world to offer USB femtocells as a clip-on DSL box accessory, and the first in Europe to offer femtocells for free.

It’s easy to see residential femtocells as a specialist product for homes with little or no coverage, but as operators have been quick to anticipate, all customers appreciate having a dependable, premium mobile experience at home.

But femtocells are just one area where operators are starting to compete on service experience. SFR has gone one stage further, promoting a compelling collection of technical advances that together add up to a major improvement in the overall user experience.

SFR

Allez-y, on vous couvre (Go ahead, we’ve got you covered)

SFR is taking the lead in differentiating its services based on the overall experience, and recently provided an update on its strong progress in each area:

  • 4G LTE deployment underway in Lyon and Montpellier, ready for 2013
  • 3G+: 98.5% of the population covered by the end of March 2012
  • Ultra-fast mobile broadband: HSPA+ 42Mbs in 50 major cities and resort areas
  • Wi-Fi: new agreement with Fon providing access to nearly 10 million hotspots
  • Wi-Fi : Auto Connect Wi-Fi hotspots for iPhones and iPads available nationally by mid-June
  • Femtocell: 100,000 deployed, with 94% customer satisfaction and a new 3rd generation due in July
  • Optical fibre 2012: 48 cities have been added, 25 of which are high density deployments

What’s important here is that innovative operators like SFR are targeting a range of technology investments that together make dramatic advances in the overall customer experience. And it’s clear that femtocells and small cells have a key part to play.

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