SFR, the French operator that announced the departure of its CEO earlier this week, is deploying its Twitter stream to make a series of update announcements on its network — covering LTE, HSPA, WiFi and Femtocells.
The operator said it would have commercial LTE in Montpellier and Lyon in 2013.
So far it has said it has 98% population coverage with 3G+, “the best coverage” in the country. From April 11, it said, it would have 21.2Mbps HSPA coverage available across its 3G network*. And it said it has already deployed 42Mbps HSPA in 50 cities and urban areas. (This claim is probably designed to stand in contrast to Orange’s announcement last week that it would be rolling out 42Mbps from the middle of this year in select cities.)
Previously, SFR has said it would have 42Mbps HSPA in Paris, Lyon and Marseilles in the first half of 2012.
The operator has announced that its auto-connect WiFi trial will come out of its pilot phase and be available commercially in mid-June. The service allows WiFi authentication from the mobile SIM, using the EAP-SIM protocol.
The operator also said that as it has an exclusive deal with Fon, its global hotspot network now numbers 10 mllion. Users of its ADSL product get access to the Fon community. SFR is the only operator to make this available to users.
It added that it is currently conducting a pilot for WiFi coverage in the metro and RER with WiFi provider Naxos.
SFR also provides a free home femtocell product, and it said that it had 100,000 installed at the end of March 2012. It added that it will be launching a “third generation” femtocell in July, offering twice the data rates and simultaneous call capacity of its existing product.
To see if the announcements keep coming, you can follow @SFR_Groupe
UPDATE: It seems the Twitter stream has stopped. You can read a bit more detail on some of these announcements here (press release).
*There’s been a bit more detail on the HSPA+ in particular following the Tweet stream. The operator is saying that by the end of 2012 it will have 88% of the population covered with 21 Mbit/s and 63% with 42 Mbit/s.