5G trial platforms in the 26GHz band in France

In January 2019, the Government and Arcep issued a joint call for the creation of 5G trial platforms that would be open to third parties, and using the 26 GHz band – aka the millimetre wave band. The aim of this call was to pave the way for all players to embrace the possibilities this frequency band provides, and to discover new uses for 5G.

Today, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, France’s Secretary of State to the Minister for the Economy and Finance, and Sébastien Soriano, Chair of the Electronic Communications and Postal Regulatory Authority (Arcep), presented the first eleven projects that have been selected.

Logistics, smart city, mobility, sports events coverage: more than a dozen projects responded to the call to create trial platforms

The call for the creation of trial platforms has enabled more than ten projects to emerge. In addition to veteran telecom industry players (mobile network operators, telecoms equipment suppliers), several projects are led by “verticals” or consortia that do not specialise in telecommunications. Some projects are focused on one area in particular: logistics (smart ports, multimodal transport management, traceability), smart city (smart buildings), mobility (in-station services for trains or passengers) or covering sporting events. Other projects have a broader target and plan on hosting any kind of innovative enterprise.

The Secretary of State and the Arcep Chair are very pleased by the tremendous response to this call for proposals, which has received fifteen responses thus far.

Arcep awards frequencies for the first eleven projects

Eleven of the project proposals submitted have been selected thus far. Arcep analysed their technical maturity, before awarding them a licence to use 26 GHz band frequencies.

These licences authorise them to use wide frequency bands for a period of up to three years. The players whose projects were selected must have an operational 5G trial network by 1 January 2021 at the latest, and make it available to third parties to perform their own 5G trials. They must also publish the terms and conditions for accessing the trial network, and provide Arcep with a detailed report on the trials conducted through the platform, in particular the name(s) of the other party or parties that are using the platform to conduct 5G trials.

Details on the eleven projects selected to date can be found in the annex on Arcep's website.

English version of announcement can be accessed here.

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