Bouygues Telecom has carried out field trials of 5G technology ‘in real conditions’ in Bordeaux and nearby town Merignac. The operator installed 5G equipment on two of its relay antennas and performed several tests demonstrating ‘the great reactivity and very low latency’ of 5G. Shortly after, Orange announced that it has received telecoms regulator Arcep’s approval to expand its 5G tests to Marseille, following 5G trials in Lille and Douai. The new trials will be carried out using 5G equipment from partner Nokia.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in March 2018 Arcep issued four authorisations for spectrum in the 3.5GHz (3400MHz-3800MHz) band, after inviting applications from interested parties in January 2018. Under Decision No. 2018-0177, Orange will be allowed to use the spectrum for 5G trials for twelve months starting June 2018, in the French cities of Lille (with Orange authorised to trial the technology over 30 sites in the city) and Douai (48). Arcep has also issued a temporary licence (Decision No. 2018-178) to Bouygues Telecom, for 5G pilots in the cities of Bordeaux, Lyon and Villeurbanne. The authorisation (valid until 30 September 2020) grants Bouygues rights to stage 5G pilots using the 3645MHz-3745MHz block in the three locations in the period May-September 2018.