Orange has received the green light to use the 26 GHz band for 5G testing in France. Earlier this year, telecom regulator Arcep invited operators to apply for trial spectrum in this band to create 5G pilot platforms open to other market players. The Orange Gardens 5G Lab in Chatillon (Ile-de-France region) will be one of the new testing sites to benefit from 26 GHz frequencies, in addition to the ongoing 5G trials using 3.5 GHz spectrum. As announced in April, Orange will also open a second trial in Rennes, at the city’s train station, in collaboration with Nokia and French state-owned railway company SNCF.
The first experimentation phase in Rennes will start before the end of the year. Orange will deploy a test network, trialing an almost instant download service for HD content. This trial will rely on Sony devices equipped with a Qualcomm modem and processor. During 2020, passengers visiting the train station will be able to connect to 5G hotspots and download videos on their devices in just a few seconds.
More use cases will be explored in Chatillon, focused particularly on multimedia applications within very busy areas, such as stations, airports, stadiums, and concert venues. Orange and its partners will test the technical and environmental conditions in which spectrum can be used. The trials will cover a range of different services, including 4K/8K HD video streaming, 360 degree/augmented/virtual/mixed reality, 5G video production, online gaming in the cloud, and e-sports applications.