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Orange offers France's best mobile phone service

Telecoms watchdog Arcep rates services of country's four main mobile phone providers

Orange offers the best mobile phone service of all the telecoms operators in France, according to an official study.

Telecoms watchdog Autorité de régulations des communications électroniques et des postes (Arcep) rated the operator the best of the major networks in a series of performance tests, ahead of Bouygues Telecom and SFR, with Free Mobile a distant fourth.

The ombudsman measured the quality of service and coverage of each operator, and based its results on 300,000 tests carried out in a range of urban and rural areas - including, for the first time, all motorways, 20 major roads, and all TGV and Intercite trains.

Network quality was tested in France's six biggest cities - Paris, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Rennes and Toulouse.

However, 4G coverage remains below coverage levels expected by the watchdog. Orange leads the way, with coverage for 89% of the population, but only across 55% of the country. SFR and Bouygues cover more of the country - at 59% and 58% respectively, and 88% of the population, while Free's 4G covers 45% of the country and 80% of the population.

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