Bouygues Telecom steps up 4G deployment drive

03 April 2013 | Mitch Sayers


Bouygues Telecom is to beef up its internal operations after gaining approval to re-use mobile frequencies for superfast mobile broadband.

According to chief executive Olivier Roussat, Bouygues is to launch 4G in eight cities including Strasbourg, Lille, Douai, Lyon, Biarritz and Toulouse over the next few weeks and was looking to recruit staff to meet demand.

“We promised to recruit 200 customer advisors if we develop 4G quickly,” said the Bouygues CEO in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro.

“Although the decision was delayed, Bouygues Telecom will promise: we will recruit 200 people in our call centres in France to support our customers in the use of this new technology.

“Recruitment will be launched very soon.”

The French operator is benefitting from a similar scenario to that of UK operator Everything Everywhere, which was awarded the use of existing airwaves to roll out 4G services earlier than its rivals in Britain, and Roussat said he wants to capitalise on the situation.

“Bouygues Telecom will face the challenge of transformation required. From 2012, we incurred decisive action: asset sales, voluntary departure plan, savings plan.

“And with 4G, Bouygues Telecom returns to its fundamental innovation, which has always been the success of the company,” he added.

Roussat added the increased technology adds up to five times that value to tariffs, which will be reflected in its pricing strategy. Domestic rival Orange is offering an upgrade 4G at a lower price than many of its rivals.

“[The] pricing strategy of Orange is frankly incomprehensible... For our part, we maintain that the 4G, which introduces a fundamental break in mobile communications, has an additional value of about €5, which should be reflected in the price.”