Orange is striving to differentiate itself by the quality of its networks and the customer experience it offers. In order to secure the leadership it has already established in 4G, Orange is actively preparing for the arrival of 5G, the breakthrough network technology that will allow the development of radically new uses. To do this, the Group has decided to conduct several important new tests in Europe jointly with its technological and innovation partners.
Orange’s 5G strategy is based on three components: improved high-speed mobile broadband, high-speed fixed broadband access and new applications to support the digital transformation of businesses. By 2020, tests related to these three areas will prepare for the arrival of 5G for both consumer and business customers.
One of the most emblematic applications of 5G is autonomous cars. Orange has been chosen by UTAC CERAM, a world leader in testing and certifying vehicles, including autonomous cars, as its 4G/5G connectivity partner. Orange will provide 4G+ high speed coverage on the entire site of Linas-Montlhéry (Ile-de-France). In addition, in collaboration with Ericsson, Orange will deploy an experimental mobile infrastructure to test the necessary 5G functionalities for autonomous vehicles. This test network is planned to open in the autumn of 2018.
5G promises improved mobile speed up to 10 times faster than 4G. The performance will create new uses for all: augmented reality solutions, the possibility for companies to deploy a local wireless network and the ability to respond to the ever-increasing consumption of multimedia content. With Ericsson’s 5G equipment, Orange will launch France’s first ever end-to-end test in Lille and Douai between mid-2018 and mid-2019 as soon as Arcep has accorded the necessary authorisations.
Orange has chosen fibre to provide high-speed broadband to homes in Europe. Where fibre has not yet been deployed to the home, a high-speed broadband access solution using 5G could be an interesting option in suburban areas in certain countries. This solution will also be made available for companies, which will be able to easily access a back-up solution in case of issues with existing networks or to use it for temporary projects such as the management of a construction site. To assess the maturity of this technology and the perception of affected customers, Orange will conduct a test under real conditions in Romania during the second half of 2018 with its partners Samsung and Cisco.
Orange is also announcing a partnership with Nokia and Kathrein for the design of a smart antenna that manages 4G/5G connectivity. This type of antenna, which is currently in the prototype stage, will be compact enough to be installed on existing mobile towers.
”5G is truly going to revolutionise usages. It will enable mobile broadband speed up to 10 times faster than 4G, provide very high speed fixed access and will make possible new services that we are now starting to design and test with our partners. This is the beginning of transformation that will affect the whole of our society and lead us towards a genuinely 5G Generation,” says Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, Executive Director of Innovation, Marketing and Technologies at Orange.