Tuesday, January 10, 2006
French mobile operator SFR has over 1 million mobile subscribers with access to its UMTS network and expects to reach 2.5 million by the end of this year. The company, which launched UMTS services in November 2004, reached the 500,000 suscriber mark in October already, two months ahead of schedule. The company's UMTS network covers around 60 percent of France as of the end of 2005. Music downloads, an important focus for SFR's parent company Vivendi Universal, totalled 830,000 tracks last year, of which 340,000 in the month of December alone. Video sessions reached 4.3 million in 2005, of which 1.2 million in December and 40,000 for the special edition of the TV series 24. The company had 20,000 subscribers for its CanalSat selection of 26 TV channels at the end of 2005. Finally, video phoning is used regularly by one out of every three SFR UMTS subscribers, with almost 2 million video calls registered on SFR's network since the launch of the service in November 2004, while three out of four UMTS clients use the Vodafone Live! internet services portal. Last week, SFR's French rival Orange also claimed over 1 million 3G subscribers.