France establishes its roadmap for 5G and launches four priority courses of action

Delphine Gény-Stephann, Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and Finance, attached to the Prime Minister, Mounir Mahjoubi, Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, attached to the Prime Minister and Arcep Chair, Sébastien Soriano, presented the 5G roadmap for France on Monday, 16 July.

5G is strategically vital to France’s industry, the competitiveness of our economy, innovation and revitalised public services. Starting in 2020, 5G is promising to deliver a jump in technological performances and pave the way for a variety of new uses for both consumers (ubiquitous 3G video streaming, etc.) and businesses (development of disruptive applications in every sector).

To prepare France for tomorrow’s innovations, the Government has established a roadmap to facilitate the development and deployment of 5G, which includes the work programme for the Electronic communications and postal regulatory authority (Arcep). Making 5G a priority is consistent with the actions being taken at the European level to meet the growing demand for connectivity, and to make European Union countries more competitive. This follows through on the agreement reached between the Government, Arcep and mobile operators on 14 January, aimed at rapidly achieving a high standard of coverage across the whole of France, by stepping up the pace of 4G rollouts.

The roadmap sets ambitious targets:

  • launch several 5G pilot projects in a variety of regions, and host some of the world’s pioneer industrial 5G applications;
  • allocate new 5G frequencies and ensure a commercial rollout in at least one major city by 2020;
  • provide 5G coverage of the main transport routes by 2025.

It is built around four priority courses of action: France’s 5G roadmap draws on the feedback the Government obtained from the consultation that ended in Q1 2018, and incorporates Arcep’s work programme. Four major courses of action were thus identified: - free up and allocate radio frequencies for 5G networks; - foster the development of new uses; - support the deployment of 5G infrastructures; - ensure transparency and dialogue over 5G rollouts and keep the public informed.

Working groups chaired by the concerned authorities and government departments are being created to identify expectations and undertake actions in the identified areas, under the aegis of the Directorate-General for Enterprise (DGE) and Arcep.

Trials and use cases: France’s first forays into 5G The first trials are already underway or in the planning stage in Belfort, Bordeaux, Douai, Grenoble, Lannion, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Toulouse and Sophia-Antipolis. Today, the Government and Arcep announced the launch of eleven new trials in the Ile-de-France region, including three connected vehicle use cases. The 5G pilot window is open to everyone, and can be accessed on the Arcep website

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