SFR launches 5G in Nice, first city covered

The telecoms operator SFR is launching 5G on Friday in Nice, the first French city to benefit from wide coverage of the new generation of mobile network, while other municipalities are asking for a moratorium on this technology.

“From (Friday) evening, a little more than 50% of the city of Nice will be covered in 5G”, announced Grégory Rabuel, Managing Director of SFR, at the microphone of BFM Business.

Montpellier, Bordeaux, Nantes, Marseille and Greater Paris will be the next cities covered by 5G by the operator, said SFR, which also unveiled its commercial offers for the general public and businesses.

Only Orange and Bouygues Telecom had so far communicated their consumer offers, without announcing their coverage plan, while Free mentioned Tuesday a launch in “the coming weeks”.

After having paid 2.789 billion euros to the State to seize “blocks” auctioned in early October, operators can enjoy their 5G frequencies since Wednesday.

However, they remain subject to administrative procedures linked to technical authorizations to be filed with the National Frequency Agency (ANFR) and to requests for information from town halls.

However, several green or left-wing mayors of large cities, notably in Lille or Grenoble, have declared themselves in favor of a moratorium until the publication scheduled for spring 2021 of a report from the National Health Security Agency (Anses) .

In the capital, the Paris council voted in early October to create a citizens’ conference on 5G, while part of the public is suspicious of the health and environmental effects of electromagnetic waves.

“We are ready to cover 90% of the population in Paris in the coming days if we ever find an agreement with the city,” said Mr. Rabuel.

The mayor (PS) Anne Hidalgo “decided to have a discussion board with the Parisians, to delay this departure a little. We are in discussions as with many other municipalities”, he still assured.

While 5G promises to eventually offer up to 10 times faster speed, operators are counting primarily on its launch to manage the increase in traffic and avoid saturation of their mobile networks.

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