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SFR and Huawei Jointly Complete France's First Pre-Commercial Field Verification of 4X4 MIMO

Jun 26, 2017

SFR France to Build Nation's Fastest 4.5G Network

[Paris, France, June 26, 2017] French telecom operator SFR and Huawei have jointly announced the successful completion of France's first pre-commercial field verification of 4X4 MIMO, achieving a downlink throughput of 628.31 Mbps using a commercially available phone on SFR's 4.5G network. This outstanding performance has led to SFR resolving to intensify its investment in LTE technology to build the fastest LTE network in France and provide customers with the best possible LTE experience.

SFR began construction of its LTE network in 2012. With the increasing popularity of mobile video and real-time gaming services, its mobile data traffic has seen an average annual growth rate of as much as 100% over the past two years. In response to the skyrocketing traffic demand, SFR launched a new unlimited data package in April 2017. SFR plans to strengthen investment in the 4.5G network. SFR is expected to extend its 4.5G network coverage to 90% of its customers by the end of 2017, and further lift this figure to 99% by 2018. 4.5G technologies such as carrier aggregation, MIMO, and 256QAM effectively increase network capacity. MIMO, in particular, improves capacity, coverage, and ultimately user experience without extra spectrums or base stations. Tests using a commercial phone on the 4.5G live network verified that the combination of 4x4 MIMO, 2 CC carrier aggregation, and 256QAM can achieve a top throughput of 628.31 Mbps. At such rates it is possible to play high-definition mobile video without interruption, fully satisfying customer demand for a smooth video watching experience and giving SFR a leading edge in the area of commercial 4.5G networks.

Picture of Commercial Phone Speed Test Result in SFR 4.5G Network

Michel Paulin, Chairman and CEO of SFR Group, said: "SFR's goal is to build the best and fastest 4.5G network in France. This will both improve our customers' lives with the best available telecommunications service, and also pave the way for the future, since a successful transition to 5G will depend first on 4.5G successes. Today, SFR's 4.5G network has achieved an average downlink throughput of 300 Mbps in over 221 cities. A 10-GB video can be downloaded within 4 minutes and 30 seconds. We will further increase the average downlink throughput to 500 Mbps by 2018. Moreover, SFR will actively promote the most sophisticated 4x4 MIMO smartphones to offer users the best LTE experience."

Kai Song, General Manager of Huawei's France Rep Office, said: "We are excited to jointly deploy an unparalleled network with SFR Group to best serve our users in France. The large-scale deployment of 4x4 MIMO is essential to the continuous evolution of the 4.5G network. Huawei will innovate persistently to provide cutting-edge solutions for the communications industry in France."

4.5G Evolution helps global operators enhance their businesses by introducing 5G technologies into existing 4G networks. Operators can trial 5G-like services quickly and develop the new business models that 5G will support. 4.5G Evolution will improve the operators’ businesses today while keeping them on the road to a successful transition to 5G tomorrow. 4.5G Evolution, Road to 5G!

MWC Shanghai 2017 will be held between June 28 and 30 in Shanghai, China. Huawei will showcase its products and solutions at booth W5.E50 in the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC), and booth W3.A10 Innovation City. For more information, please visit