SFR kicks off 5G in France

After months of testing, the operator is opening this new technology to the general public in Nice. Orange, Bouygues Telecom and Free Mobile will follow.

The kickoff of 5G for the general public in France is given this Friday at noon. For this launch, SFR has chosen Nice, which becomes the first covered city in France. A decision fully assumed by its mayor, Christian Estrosi, while many city councilors on the contrary are asking for a moratorium on this technology, when they are not opposed to it outright.

In this context of strong opposition, telecom operators are walking on eggshells. They are committed to deploying their network, but also to preserving their good relations with mayors. “It looks like an indoor bike race, where everyone looks at their competitors to find out who will start first”, laughs a connoisseur of the file. The whole question is whether the operators will override the reluctance of elected environmentalists and still deploy 5G or whether they will concentrate their efforts in more welcoming cities. With Nice, SFR has decided. For its part, Orange should launch its 5G commercial services on November 26 or 27, according to our information. , but without saying where. Free makes the suspense last. Everyone is waiting to see who will dare to advance into hostile territory first.

The only certainty is that 5G will be deployed. But at what rate? . They intend to use them, especially since they must deploy 10,000 antennas by 2025. It is therefore better for them to have customers to use this network which will require new investments amounting to billions.

Ecological transition

In these conditions, it is difficult to do without large cities, while the saturation of 4G networks is looming over urban centers by 2021 or 2022. To cope with the 40% growth per year in the use of mobile data, a new technological leap is inevitable. That’s the whole point of 5G, which brings consumers speeds five to ten times higher than 4G. With wider frequency bands, 5G is similar to an eight-lane motorway which would complete a network of the territory by national ones. Traffic will be both smoother, faster and with better reaction times.

But to take advantage of it, you have to pass the toll: subscribe to a dedicated subscription, be equipped with a compatible smartphone – there are about thirty on the market – and be located in an area covered by 5G. Even without this winning trio, it will still be possible to phone and surf from your mobile: 4G but also 3G continue to be used by operators. Only consumers who want to will use 5G. Operators have started to market 5G compatible packages. Of course, they also work with other technologies: 4G, 3G and 2G.

At SFR, you have to pay 40 euros per month, for a package including a data envelope of 80 Gigas bytes per month. The bill climbs to 50 euros for 100 GB, 65 euros for 150 GB and 95 euros for unlimited data. At Orange, these 39.99 euros for 70 GB, 49.99 euros for 100 GB, 64.99 euros for 150 GB and 94.99 euros unlimited. Bouygues Telecom: 26.99 euros for 60 GB, 48.99 euros for 90 GB, and 69.99 euros for 120 GB. These prices are exclusive of promotions. Operators charge around 5 euros more for 5G packages compared to 4G, with a comparable data envelope.

This technology is one of the keystones of the ecological transition. The new generation of mobile telephony makes it possible to divide by ten – at an equivalent level of data consumption – the energy consumption of networks. It is also one of the necessary conditions for the implementation of the industry of the future and the smart city.

“The real disruptors brought about by 5G will above all benefit companies. It will reach end consumers through new services, such as telemedicine ”, analyzes Mohssen Toumi, partner at Oliver Wyman.

Industrial Revolution

“The great innovations of 5G will come from the connected industry, from the development of machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. But it will take time ”, warns Alain Sibille, teacher at Télécom ParisTech. Over fifteen years, 5G could save 200 billion euros to European industry, for 50 billion investment, according to a study carried out by Analysys Mason with the participation of Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson. “Mercedes has started rolling out 5G in some of its factories. The German carmaker estimates that it will allow it to improve its yields by 25% ”, illustrates Jacques Moulins, general manager of Idate. The net profit for France would amount to 15.5 billion euros for an investment of 4.2 billion euros.

The SNCF has also taken up the subject. In stations, it will be able to offer new fast download services to allow passengers to prepare their trip and avoid the saturation of wifi on trains. Virtual counters could be deployed, with 5G making instantaneous exchanges possible. Other services are possible, such as discussions in several languages ​​to be able to meet the expectations of foreign tourists, who, no doubt, will return one day.

“See also – Cédric O:” 5G is beneficial from an environmental point of view “

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