The award of 5G trial spectrum in the 26 GHz band, unveiled by French regulator Arcep in January, has led to the green light for the first eleven initiatives put forward by industry players. The government and Arcep had invited applications for projects that would create 5G pilot platforms open to third parties, with the aim to encourage involvement in the trials from companies outside the telecom sector.
Awarding the licenses, valid for up to three years, Arcep said that these first trial networks will need to be operational by 01 January 2021 at the latest. The regulator will also be examining more applications over the coming weeks.
Orange, one of two network operators securing trial spectrum, has already confirmed details of its planned 26 GHz testing sites in Chatillon and Rennes.
Bouygues Telecom has been awarded licenses for three projects, covering four different locations. One of the three initiatives, located in the technology park of Velizy-Villacoublay, will encourage collaboration with third parties via the operator’s SmartX_5G business incubator, announced in July 2018.
Bouygues’ other two trial sites will be located in Lyon’s Part-Dieu train station, in collaboration with France’s national rail company SNCF, and in the nearby city of Saint-Priest, where the operator will partner with local SMEs to test B2B services such as industrial IoT applications.
Bouygues’ network expertise will also be at the centre of the 5G pilot approved in Bordeaux and led by the city’s local authority (Bordeaux Metropole), which plans to use the public street lighting system to deploy 5G infrastructure.
One of the other projects has been put forward by the Paris-Saclay Nokia Campus, where the equipment maker will test new use cases with a group of start-ups. The company, which is collaborating with Orange on the 5G trial in Rennes, will also take part in two other winning projects. One of them will be located at the National Velodrome of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, a future Olympic Games site. The other will test applications relating to smart grids and logistical operations in the port of Le Havre, in partnership with Siemens and EDF.
Paris will host two more 5G trials selected in the spectrum award. The first will be led by the planning development agency responsible for the business district of La Defense, while the second will be organized by two of the city’s science museums, the Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie and the Palais de la Decouverte.