Will Orange and Free Mobile customers use the same 5G network? It’s in the mirror with the two operators. It was Stéphane Richard, CEO of Orange, who made the revelation at the Very High Speed Summer School. “The way for the bundling of 5G between Orange and Free is clear,” reports Le Figaro.
The scenario could be similar to that of SFR and Bouygues Telecom. A few years ago, the two operators shared their 2G / 3G / 4G networks in certain regions of France. The agreement dates from 2014 and affects 57% of the population (85% of the territory). Stéphane Richard did not reveal any details regarding the possible agreement with Free over 5G.
The operators are now waiting for the allocation of 5G frequencies by Arcep, the telecommunications gendarme. They paid 2.8 billion euros to get their hands on it. “The auctions have remained at a reasonable price level, which enables us to invest in networks immediately,” said Stéphane Richard. “The path is satisfactory,” he added.
Orange’s CEO points out that 5G will not only be available in cities. It will also be found in the areas. Stéphane Richard wants to maintain a “balance between rural and urban areas”. He quoted a Cantal elected representative who asked him to come quickly and deploy 5G in his region.
5G will be available by the end of the year. Orange has already announced that its 5G network will be active from December.