Stéphane Richard, CEO of Orange, announces that the incumbent will activate its 5G network in France on November 18th. He adds that 4G will be fully available on his network by the end of the year.
Orange 5G from November 18
The CEO of Orange explains on BFM Business that he will offer 5G on November 18, “where it is technically possible”. He states that it will obviously be necessary to have a smartphone and a package compatible with the new network. He cites some 5G compatible phone models including the iPhone 12. However, he notes that many models are 4G to this day.
Orange’s 5G packages were announced last month. There are 70/100/150 GB / unlimited internet offers. Prices range from € 39.99 / month to € 94.99 / month. At that time, the operator announced that its network would be activated in December. But plans have changed following Arcep’s recent announcement.
But we have to be patient to really benefit from the new network. As Stéphane Richard indicates, the four operators only have 500 test antennas for 5G. “At least initially, but what will take a long time, we will not build any new antennas,” says the CEO of Orange. “We will keep the current antennas and switch them from 4G to 5G,” he explains.
That, and the fact that a lot of people don’t have 5G-enabled phones, will play a role in sales. “It will certainly not reach large volumes this winter, especially as the network will be very poorly developed,” acknowledged the Orange CEO. “We’ll have to wait for coverage to pick up in the coming months. I think it’s more of an issue for the second half of 2021, ”he says. He doesn’t expect any enthusiasm for the end of 2020. “But it is certain that it will be the big topic of 2021.”
100% 4G network at the end of the year
Stéphane Richard also spoke about 4G. He ensures that 100% of Orange’s network will be 4G compatible by the end of the year. This affects 25,000 4G locations / antennas across France. Stéphane Richard adds that Orange is investing “between 500 and 600 million euros a year” in its 4G mobile network.