After an agreement signed between French telecom provider SFR and the Paris region transport authority (RATP), SFR brought up the 1st iteration of their 3G network in the RATP – specifically in two main stations, Chatelet & Gare De Lyon. SFR customers in these areas finally have access the 3G networks underground after 3 months of building the network. The ongoing plan is to provide 3G access to the entire RATP system, though according to Numerama, RATP has still not decided with whom it will sign the contract for the entire metro system, which is set to be available in 2013.
SFR looks to be gunning for press about the release in hopes of convincing RATP to stick with them; SFR being the very company that had to switch its CEO out earlier this year due to dwindling profits after Free Mobile’s launch. While RATP leaked that they are currently talking with Orange and Bouygues, it seems that Bouygues will have its hands tied trying to convert its 2G network to 4G for the iPhone 5 by the end of the year, along with trying to fight off Free Mobile’s mobile market advance
RATP has been quickly trying to appeal to the 3G generation – it seems that 1 out of 3 metro riders is on a smartphone actively in the metro (beats the newspapers). In that respect, RATP has announced that it will be launching 4 new twitter accounts to engage with and inform riders on the four most frequented lines – the line 1, line 4, line 12, & line 13.
RATP adds twitter accounts