Bouygues Telecom expands 5G footprint in France


French operator Bouygues Telecom announced the arrival of its 5G services in several new locations, saying that network coverage has reached 25 cities with a population of over 70,000 since the commercial launch of the technology.

Clermont-Ferrand, Valenciennes, Grenoble, Orleans, Saint-Etienne and Cachan are among the latest cities to benefit from the ongoing 5G rollout, the telco said.

“Our pace of deployment will allow us to achieve national 5G coverage at the end of the year. This is the goal we set for ourselves when we launched our new network on December 1,” said  Jean-Paul Arzel, networks director of Bouygues Telecom.

 “There can’t be good 5G without good 4G. Our rapid progress in 5G, the quality delivered by this new network, we owe above all to the excellence of our mobile network,” the executive said.

Last month, Bouygues Telecom had announced that its 5G coverage reached 67 cities with a population of over 50,000.

The telco said that its 5G rollout has reached over 1,000 municipalities across the country.

Bouygues Telecom initially launched 5G in 20 cities across France. Some of the cities covered by the company’s 5G network are Lyon, Nice, Cannes, Montpellier, Avignon, Reims, Le Havre, Toulon, Dijon, Villeurbanne, Le Mans, Aix-en-Provence, Boulogne-Billancourt, Metz, Versailles, Saint Denis, Argenteuil, Rouen, Montreuil et Nancy.

The French operator said the current roll-out phase will rely on the 3.5 GHz and 2.1 GHz bands.

Bouygues Telecom previously said that it will roll out its 5G network gradually in line with benefits to customers which will materialize in two main stages. In the first stage, the capacity will increase to maintain good service quality in very dense areas where data consumption is very intense.

In a second stage, 5G will facilitate new services for B2C and especially for B2B customers, the telco said. To roll-out its 5G network, Bouygues Telecom has decided simultaneously to install new antennas, using the newly acquired 3.5 GHz frequency band, and to gradually migrate existing 4G frequency bands to 5G.

In related news, France’s spectrum agency ANFR said that the number of cell sites authorized for 5G services amounted to 18,039 as of January 7.

Among the three bands approved for 5G use, 700 MHz frequencies remained in the lead with a total of 12,894 permits, all granted to mobile operator Free Mobile. Across all networks, the 5G sites authorized in the 2.1 GHz and 3.5 GHz bands totaled 5,526 and 3,589 respectively.

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