French cellcos launch 5G services in Paris

19 Mar 2021

All French cellcos – Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Free Mobile – are switching on their 5G networks in the capital Paris today (19 March). TeleGeography notes that French operators were initially not allowed to offer 5G services in Paris, though the Parisian mobile telephony charter – inked between the City of Paris and cellcos on 15 March 2021 – authorised the commercial launch of the fifth-generation technology in the French capital going forward. The charter includes recommendations on limiting exposure to radio waves, information and transparency regarding the installation of antennas, the monitoring of their environmental impact, and initiatives to promote recycling and digital inclusion. The Mobile Telephony Consultation Commission (CCTM) authorised around 80 5G base transceiver stations (BTS) per operator earlier this week, with Orange claiming to cover all of Paris at launch, while SFR pledges to provide 80% coverage. For its part, Free Mobile has revealed that around 200 of its sites are expected to be authorised in the coming weeks, equivalent to 100% coverage of all Paris arrondissements.