France begins deployment of 5G mobile technology frequency

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The launch of the new technology was originally scheduled for April, but has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.The country has now opened 11 5G frequencies to operators – Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Free – which will allow the technology to be deployed in certain cities in France before the end of the year.

The network will first be launched in France using the frequency bands 3.4 to 3.8 GHz on the electromagnetic spectrum. The four operators have already been allocated a 50 MHz block in this frequency band each, at a fixed price of 350 million euros.

The additional 110 MHz should now bring in an additional 2.17 billion euros to the state coffers.

Each operator will be limited to 100 MHz, to “allow everyone to have a chance,” said Arcep (the regulatory authority for electronic communications and posts), which manages the launch.

The first “auction” will last about two weeks, and will be followed by a “positioning auction”, which will allow operators to choose whether they wish to position themselves at the center of the frequency, or at its edges (with the latter more sensitive interference from other services).

5G is a new frequency that will allow mobile phones to operate much faster than current 3G and 4G systems. Proponents say this will not only allow for faster connectivity, but also potentially life-saving development in areas such as medicine and remote operations.

The first mobile technology allowed people to make calls, 2G allowed them to send text, 3G and 4G images to increase the usability of mobile internet and video. 5G is expected to accelerate this step even further and connect everything that is not yet linked, like public transport systems and manufacturing industries.

Yet 5G has also received strong criticism, with some claiming that it has negative effects on the environment and human health.

Some discredited conspiracy theories have even linked the spread of Covid-19 to the rise of 5G communications towers, and many have been vandalized during the height of the pandemic.

Read more: Dozens of 5G antennas vandalized in France during the lockdown

More than 70 MPs from all political backgrounds have called for a “moratorium” on technology.

However, following a report on the technical and health aspects of 5G, France concluded that 5G frequencies have no impact on health, if they are used within the legal limits set by French and European regulations. .

President Emmanuel Macron has always maintained his support for the system, and has sought to stick to his modified timetable for the deployment of the technology, claiming that France will “adopt 5G” as “a country of innovation” and “stand by will divert all false ideas ”.

He controversially said those who wanted to halt the progress of 5G were adhering to an “Amish model” and hoped France “would return to the era of oil lamps.”

A report on the issue from the National Health Security Agency is expected in March 2021 and should show that France is already far behind in the implementation of the technology, compared to its neighboring European countries (see map below below).

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