French telcos end May with 25,105 authorized 5G sites nationwide

Paris France

France had a total of 25,105 5G authorized sites as of June 1, of which 14,284 were declared technically operational by the local mobile operators, according to the latest information provided by France’s spectrum agency ANFR.

ANFR said that the number of authorized 5G sites during May had increased by 3.7% compared to the previous month.

The agency said that almost all of the 5G sites have been authorized on existing cellular sites, already used by 2G, 3G or 4G technologies.

In France, mobile operators are currently providing 5G services through three frequency bands: 700 MHz, 2.1 GHz and 3.5 GHz.

A total of 16,683 sites are authorized in the 700 MHz band (Free Mobile), of which 9,854 are already technically operational. Also, ANFR said that 8,376 sites are authorized in the 2.1 GHz band (Bouygues Telecom, Orange and SFR), but 3,846 are technically operational.

Meanwhile, 8,550 sites are authorized in the 3.5 GHz band (Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Orange and SFR), of which 3,973 are declared technically operational.

Some of the authorized sites are shared by the mobile operators, ANFR said.

In addition, 53,634 4G sites were authorized in mainland France as of June 1, of which 49,066 are in service.

French telco Orange has already activated 5G in 160 cities across the country, the operator’s CEO Stéphane Richard previously said in an interview with local newspaper Jornal du Dimanche. Some of the initial cities covered by Orange’s 5G network include Marseille, Nice, Le Mans and Angers. Orange initially launched commercial 5G services in 15 municipalities at the beginning of December 2020.

Illiad subsidiary Free Mobile launched commercial 5G services in the country in December 2020. For its 5G network, Free Mobile currently uses frequencies in the 700 MHz band as well as frequencies in the 3.5 GHz band which Free acquired in the French spectrum auction in 2020.

Also in December 2020, Bouygues Telecom initially launched 5G in 20 cities across France.The French operator said it expects to achieve nationwide coverage by the end of 2021. The current roll-out phase will rely on the 3.5 GHz and 2.1 GHz bands.

Meanwhile, SFR had initially launched its 5G commercial network in Nice in November.

French operators Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Orange and SFR have recently launched 5G services in Paris, following the recent approval by the local city council.

The Paris Council approved a new telecom charter which paved the way for 5G activations in the French capital.