French regulator Arcep has published a document outlining the country’s roadmap for the unveiling of the 5G network. The document is part of a roadmap agreed upon by the French government. The work program is sponsored by Secretaries of State Mounir Mahioubi and Delphine Geny-Stephann, both of whom are respectively heading digital and economic affairs.
Some of the 5G roadmap’s main targets include an allocation of new 5G frequencies, ensuring a commercial rollout in at least one major city by 2020. According to the roadmap, the main transport routes will be covered by 2025. The French government hopes to encourage industry players to develop new services and infrastructure, guided by input from the consultation that launched in late-2017. This ensured both transparency and an open dialogue on the rollouts.
Working groups are being formed to take on the action points identified on the roadmap, under direction of the regulator and Directorate-General for Enterprise (DGE). Some of Arcep’s prior initiatives were two public consultants on 5G frequencies, with the latest being on the 26 GHz band, along with authorizations for trials using the 3.5 GHz spectrum. Two other consultation documents are being developed. One pertains to the 1.5 GHz band (L-band), while the other is on defining the allocation procedures for 5G frequencies.
Regarding prioritized areas, the regulator will consider the feasibility of network sharing, along with ways of accelerating backhaul solutions. The regulator has established the right of operators for using surplus fibre for connecting mobile base stations. In addition, 22 trial authorizations have also been granted. The regulator will continue to examine any request in the 3.4-3.8 GHz and 24.25-27.5 GHz bands.
Arcep will also back the French government’s plan to assemble industry stakeholders from sectors like connected vehicles and smart farming. The strategy has also been endorsed by Secretaries of State Mahioubi and Geny-Stephann as co-presidents of CNI Numerique—the newly announced digital arm of the industry’s national council.