French operators are currently using the bands of 700 MHz, 2.1 GHz, 3.5 GHz for 5G.
As of June 1, France had a total of 34,061 approved 5G sites, of which 24,949 were declared technically viable by local mobile carriers, according to the latest monthly report published by the French spectrum agency ANFR.
The ANFR reported that the number of 5G sites approved in May increased by 1.5% over the previous month.
The company says that almost all 5G sites have been approved to existing cellular sites, which are already used by 2G, 3G or 4G technology.
In France, mobile carriers are already offering 5G services through the 700 MHz, 2.1 GHz and 3.5 GHz spectrum bands.
The ANFR says a total of 19,660 sites have been approved in the 700 MHz band (free mobile), of which 14,887 are already technically operational. Also, the ANFR states that 14,127 sites are approved in the 2.1 GHz band (Buygues Telecom, Orange and SFR), but 8,497 are technically operational.
So far, 18,577 sites have been approved in the 3.5 GHz band (Buygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Orange and SFR), of which 11,550 have been declared technically operational.
As of the end of May, Free Mobile had 14,886 operational 5G sites, followed by Bouygues Telecom (7,267), SFR (6,190) and Orange (3,965).
Some approved 5G sites are shared by mobile operators, the company said.
Also, as of June 1, 57,325 4G sites were approved in mainland France, of which 52,587 were in service.
Free Mobile, an affiliate of Iliad, recently said that its 5G footprint now covers 77% of the population, up from 52% in May 2021.
Free Mobile reports that its 5G network has now reached 9,100 municipalities across France. It added that the firm has already set up a total of 12,000 5G sites, including 2,514 5G sites, using 3.5 GHz frequencies.
For its 5G network, Free Mobile uses 700 MHz band frequency as well as 3.5 GHz band frequency which was acquired for free in 2020 at a French spectrum auction.
Bouygues Telecom initially launched 5G in 20 cities across France in December 2020. The French operator says it expects to have nationwide coverage by the end of 2021. The current roll-out phase will depend on the 3.5 GHz and 2.1 GHz bands
French Telco Orange has already activated 5G in more than 160 cities across France, the operator’s CEO Stephen Richard said earlier. Some of the primary cities covered by Orange’s 5G network include Marseille, Nice, Le Mans and Angers. Orange initially launched commercial 5G services in 15 municipalities in early December 2020.
Meanwhile, SFR initially launched its 5G commercial network in Nice in November 2020 According to a recent press report, SFR currently provides 5G services in 2,100 municipalities across France.