Orange France will start testing in Châtillon and Rennes following ARCEP’s approval to assign experimentation frequencies in the 26 GHz band. For Orange, this call for projects is an opportunity to assess, in an open innovation way, the performances of these new frequency bands as well as the technical and environmental conditions in which those bands can be used. It is also a chance to evaluate the benefits of this technology for innovative applications in very busy areas (railway stations, airports, stadiums, concerts, etc.) and to draw lessons for future developments of 5G.
The first experimentation phase will start before the end of 2019, and different steps have been identified: deployment of the test network; performance measurements (speed, coverage); partners testing the service using Sony devices equipped with a Qualcomm modem and processor. In 2020, passengers travelling through Rennes train station will be able to connect to 5G hotspots and download videos to their mobile or tablet in just a few seconds, and then watch them while traveling in the train. Additional ‘Consumer’ or ‘Business’ services will be tested at a later stage.
The Orange Gardens 5G Lab is a site for collaborative innovation, providing Orange and its partners with an indoor and outdoor test environment with 5G connectivity. Since December 2018, around fifteen companies have been able to test innovative products and services, and benefit from the support of Orange experts. These 5G tests use the 3.4-3.8 GHz frequency band.
In the next few months, the 5G Lab will open its doors to partners and companies who also want to test the local 5G network in the 26 GHz band, and evaluate its ability to deliver enhanced multimedia experiences in very busy places, as well as in certain mobile situations (4K/8K video streaming, 360°, augmented, virtual or mixed reality, 5G video production, online gaming in the cloud, eSports tournaments, etc.).
Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, Deputy CEO and Chief Technology and Innovation Officer of Orange, said: “The 26GHz spectrum band will allow us to explore new services based on 5G. We are aiming to set-up experimental platforms that will stim ulate collaboration on these new use-cases across all economic sectors.”