France’s spectrum agency ANFR has recently released the latest information on the number of 5G authorised sites in the country. According to the information, the number of France’s 5G authorised sites stands at 25,105 as of June 1. Out of these 25,105 5G authorised sites, local mobile operators have declared that 14,484 sites are currently technically operational. The number of 5G authorised sites in France saw an increase of 3.7% in May compared to the previous month.
Almost all of France’s 5G Sites Authorised on Existing Cellular Sites: ANFR
ANFR has revealed that almost all the 5G sites have been authorised on existing cellular sites. These sites are already being used by 2G, 3G and 4G technologies and have now been authorised for 5G as well. Telecom Operators in France are currently providing 5G services through three frequency bands – 700 MHz, 2.1 GHz and 3.5 GHz.
A further bifurcation of sites in these frequency bands shows that 16.683 locations are authorised in the 700 MHz bands (Free Mobile), out of which 9,954 are technically operational. In the 2.1 GHz frequency band (Bouygues Telecom, Orange and SFR), 3,846 from a total of 8,376 sites are technically operational. This number is just slightly higher at 3,973 technically operational sites in the 3.5 GHz frequency band (Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Orange and SFR), which has a total of 8,550 sites.
Some 5G Authorised Sites Shared by Mobile Operators
When it comes to the previous generation mobile network – 4G, 53.634 sites were authorised for the mobile network technology in Mainland France as of June 1. The number of sites in service for 4G networks was noted to be 49,066. ANFR has stated that some of the 5G authorised sites in the county are shared by mobile operators. In this regard, French telco Orange already has 5G services in 160 cities in the country.
In December 2020, Orange had launched its commercial 5G services in 15 municipalities. Free Mobile, a subsidiary of Illiad, launched its commercial 5G services in the country in December 2020. It uses the 700 MHz band and 3.5 GHz frequency bands that the company had acquired in the French Spectrum Auction in 2020. Bouygues Telecom has also launched its 5G services in 20 cities across France at the same time as its French rivals.
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