5G deployment: Free Mobile and Orange are in the lead

Arcep detailed the deployment of 5G among French operators and the two winners are Orange and Free Mobile for the moment. As a reminder, the four operators have activated 5G on their networks in recent weeks. Free Mobile was the last to offer it.

When it comes to the number of 5G antennas, Free Mobile is number one. The operator has 5,303 5G sites in France. Bouygues Telecom follows suit with 1,344 5G sites. Then there is Orange with 646 5G sites and SFR with 278 5G sites. Free Mobile is far ahead of the others because it mainly offers 5G with the 700 MHz band. This was already used for 4G. It offers good coverage, but the speed is average.

In terms of 5G speeds, Orange is in first place. Indeed, 475 of its 646 5G sites use the 3.5 GHz band. This is the one that will offer very good speeds. Free follows suit with 221 5G sites that support this band. Then there are Bouygues Telecom (115 sites) and SFR (97 sites).

Deployment 5G ARCEP December 2020 Map

We therefore understood: if we want 5G in as many places as possible, we must for the moment turn to Free Mobile. And if we want 5G with a lot of speeds, we must give priority to Orange.

Naturally, the four French operators will continue the deployment over the months. It will be interesting to see whether Free Mobile and Orange will remain the most active operators.

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