French telecom operator Bouygues Telecom made the first 5G call in the streets of Lyon in real conditions with a mobile terminal powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50 modem, the telco said in a statement.
Bouygues Telecom collaborated with Ericsson and Qualcomm Technology for the 5G trial.
The first 5G site at Lyon used Ericsson 6488 active radio antennas connected to a fiber optic network core.
Lyon is the second city in which Bouygues Telecom has deployed 5G in France. The telco had also launched a 5G pilot site in the city of Bordeaux in July 2018. Following that initial trial, the telco has already deployed 11 more 5G sites in the city. For this 5G trial in Bourdeaux, the French operator collaborated with Chinese vendor Huawei.
“Our different experiments conducted in real conditions provide us with valuable information on the 5G technology and its deployment. I would like to thank our partners and all our engineers and technicians who have succeeded in positioning us as a reference actor of 5G in France,” said Jean-Paul Arzel, network director at Bouygues Telecom.
Last year, French regulator Arcep issued temporary frequency authorizations to develop 5G pilot projects in France. The regulator offered spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band (3400 – 3800 MHz) in the metropolitan areas of Lyon, Bordeaux, Nantes, Lille, Le Havre, Saint-Étienne, Douai, Montpellier and Grenoble.
Arcep recently kicked off a public consultation period on the 5G auction process for the 3.4-3.8 GHz, 26 GHz, and 1.4 GHz frequencies, according to a statement from the regulator. Arcep called on various players to take part in the consultation, including carriers, local authorities, and companies in the energy, health, media, industry, agriculture, and automobile sectors.
The regulator also confirmed that it aims to launch the tender to award 5G frequencies by mid-2019.
In July, the French government said it expects at least one major city to have commercial 5G services by 2020 as one of the key initiatives of the country’s 5G roadmap. The roadmap sets a number of targets, including the launch of several 5G pilot projects in a variety of regions, and hosting some of the world’s pioneer industrial 5G applications; allocating new 5G frequencies and providing 5G coverage of the main transport routes by 2025.―RCRWireless News