5G technologies: ARCEP authorises Orange to conduct the first trials in France

Paris, 30 September 2015

Now that 4G systems have been widely deployed around the globe, the telecommunications industry is already looking ahead to the fifth generation of mobile networks, which are expected to be introduced by 2020. The developments surrounding 5G aim to increase both the speed and capacity of mobile networks, and to improve connectivity to enable the emergence of new applications such as the Internet of Things.

It is within this context that ARCEP issued Orange an authorisation to conduct trials in the city of Belfort, France, up to the end of 2016. These trials mark a first step towards the development of 5G technologies. They are part of Europe’s 5G-PPP programme, a public-private partnership between the European Commission and the telecommunications industry, and more specifically part of the mmMagic project.

The purpose of this project is to examine the conditions of use for millimetre-wave frequency bands between 6 GHz and 100 GHz for 5G. These very high frequency bands are still not being used by current mobile networks, and represent a key component in achieving the performance objectives being set for 5G. To this end, the search for globally harmonised 5G frequencies in this range will be launched immediately following the World Radiocommunication Conference in November (WRC-15).

Granting this experimental authorisation is also part of a larger course of action being taken by ARCEP to stimulate innovation. Since 1 January 2015, ARCEP has issued some 75 authorisations to use frequencies for the purpose of conducting trials and experiments.