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SFR - Ensuring quality and safety in a fast-growth market

At SFR, we depend on Bureau Veritas for the quality and safety of our installations. They are our eyes.
Michel DUC
Director of Network Roll Out, SFR.

BUSINESS CHALLENGE

To stay competitive in the fast-paced mobile telecom market, SFR must continually expand and improve its network.  The company is committed to the ongoing installation and upgrades of radio base stations across the French territory.  In this effort, SFR’s in-house engineering team focuses solely on the strategy and logistics of mobile mast placement; the company outsources all other tasks related to installation and upgrades to specialised firms.  To ensure the on-site safety of contractors, confirm adherence to SFR’s strict quality standards, and monitor radio frequency emissions over the long-term, the mobile company sought a third-party surveyor.

SOLUTION

SFR has trusted Bureau Veritas since 2001 to provide critical support in the expansion of the mobile company’s coverage in France.  In its first mission for SFR, Bureau Veritas provided safety management services during the mobile company’s network rollout. Local teams inspected new base station installations across France, to ensure both regulations compliance and worker safety. Potential risks were identified and then explained to each company working on the various sites. SFR’s main priority was fast deployment, and Bureau Veritas strove to ensure that each installation was done right the first time – objectives that still hold true today.  Further to the success of this initial project, the partnership has continued to strengthen. To date, Bureau Veritas has acted as an independent assessor for 7,000 (or one-third) of SFR’s sites, verifying that each has complied with strict industry specifications on equipment installation practices, proper antenna angles, safety issues, and radio frequency emissions. To ensure efficiency throughout the process, Bureau Veritas also provides planning logistics assistance. Whether the site is a new 3G installation or an older GSM station being upgraded to 3G, human safety – for both contractors and the public – is key. Bureau Veritas engineers thus remain ever-mindful of evolving industry norms and specifications. Other projects entrusted to Bureau Veritas include regulatory inspections and building conformity inspections.

BENEFITS

A wide field presence enables Bureau Veritas to provide rapid, specialised service at the local level. This gives SFR increased flexibility when putting deployment plans into action, even on very short notice. Once on-site, Bureau Veritas’ expertise helps SFR to better manage contractors and the quality of their work, while meeting network deployment objectives, in compliance with industry norms. Deployment costs are thus optimised and projects are kept on-budget. In addition, SFR can demonstrate its commitment to the various codes of conduct and quality established with local municipalities, while assuring that radio frequency emissions levels stay within industry norms and municipal agreements. Quality and safety are ensured even as the network continues its rapid expansion.

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> Client: SFR

> Client industry: Telecommunications

> Client size:
- 17,2 million subscribers in France*
- 35.8% market share*
- €8.7 billion turnover in 2005.
*end 2005

> Client profile: As one of three leading mobile phone operators in France, SFR retains the second-largest subscriber base.  Its GSM/GPRS network has been rated first in network quality since 2004; its 3G network currently reaches 60% the population* and is rapidly expanding. *end 2005

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