5G is about to land in Paris. Despite the reluctance of local authorities, Xavier Niel, founder of Free Mobile, expects the mobile network of the future to be available in Paris before the end of February 2021.
5G arrived in France at the end of November 2020. The network of the future is therefore available in many French cities, including Lyon, Nice, Rouen, Bordeaux, Marseille-Aix or Montpellier. In total, more than 7,500 5G sites were opened by Orange, Free Mobile, SFR or Bouygues Télécom in France. Unfortunately, Paris is not one of the cities where the mobile network has been deployed.
Like several other metropolises, the capital preferred curb the deployment of 5G in its territory. Rather than rushing, the town hall first wanted to launch a public debate on the issue by highlighting health and ecological concerns. Some cities, including Lille, will even wait for the publication scheduled for spring 2021 of a report from the National Health Security Agency (Anses) to authorize 5G.
Paris was afraid of 5G, according to Xavier Niel
However, the city officials are not legally able to block the deployment of 5G. In order to avoid going to war with the mayors, the operators agreed to wait a few weeks before activating their branches in certain cities, including Paris. Asked about the subject by our colleagues from BFM Business, Xavier Niel believes that the situation is about to change. “We hope it’s a matter of weeks” before 5G is activated in Paris, says the billionaire. In the interview, Xavier Niel talks about the deadline for “End of February 2021”.
“I was a little critical a month ago but I have the impression that things are moving in the right direction” says Xavier Niel. More measured than usual, the founder of Free Mobile believes that “Paris was a prudent city, there was a fear. The city tried to do it pretty well“. As a reminder, Free Mobile launched its first 5G package in mid-December. Unlike its competitors, the telecoms troublemaker integrates 5G at no additional cost to its current offers.