Here we are: after so many years of talking about it on Siècle Digital, 5G is finally becoming a reality in France. Bouygues Telecom announced on November 19th, during the presentation of its financial results, that it would launch its 5G coverage from December 1st.
Bouygues Telecom plans to switch its 4G bands to 5G bands
As with 4G a few years ago, only a few large cities are initially covered. On the other hand, the French operator promises national coverage within one year and coverage of 28,000 locations by 2023. Bouygues Telecom will therefore be the first French operator to launch its 5G offering. As expected, this new technology will operate in a 4G core network until 2023. A choice justified by the possible gradual transition of users to 5G-compatible smartphones.
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The operators have been authorized to start their 5G frequencies since November 18. However, approval has yet to be obtained from the ANFR and the town halls. Bouygues’ announcement was made without the approval of the National Frequency Agency. Let’s wait a few more days to ensure this start. In the meantime, the operator says that its 4G frequency bands are gradually switching to 5G bands. Initially, the 2100 MHz band will be assigned to 5G. Considered most appropriate, it should be able to support 5G without changing 4G. This is followed by the 1800 and 2600 MHz bands, followed by the 700 and 800 MHz bands.
The operator would like to offer its customers new uses
The operator’s goal is very clear: “National coverage within one year while at the same time providing capacity to maintain good service quality in very dense areas with very high data consumption (+40% per year)”. Bouygues Telecom, its users and In particular, to offer professionals new uses thanks to better latency in order to accelerate the development of connected objects. The operator states that a cloud gaming service and 80 unlimited games with Gamestream will soon be available on the market.
This announcement could encourage French competitors to launch faster than expected. With this known, Bouygues Telecom may have less of a chance of actually being the first to launch. Regardless, 5G has definitely officially landed in France. Incidentally, the operators finally have 15 years to settle the payment for the 5G frequencies bought at auction on November 29th. Sébastien Soriano, President of Arcep, defended the operators with the following words: “When the state takes out loans at negative interest rates. This is not the case with operators. For them, this distribution of payments is a real asset. “