Orange CEO Stéphane Richard.


Guillaume MIRAND

An arrival that makes noise.

Scheduled for April but postponed due to the coronavirus, the start of the main auction for the allocation of 5G frequencies will begin on September 29.

While the future network must allow the development of new uses, but it comes up against the hostility of part of public opinion and local politicians or NGOs, who invoke risks for health or the environment .

In this regard, the number one of Orange, Stéphane Richard, indicated on France Inter this Saturday that his group will accelerate the recycling of smartphones during the transition to 5G, in order to reduce the energy footprint of digital.

“We have installed recycling points in all 600 Orange stores and we intend to use the arrival of 5G, which will lead to a certain gradual renewal of terminals (smartphones, Ed.) (...), to increase very strong ambition in terms of recycling ”.

"If ideally, we could recycle at least one terminal on two or even three terminals out of four at the time of the change to 5G, the balance sheet would obviously be significantly improved," he added.

"No instrument to regulate"

Also questioned by France Inter, Sébastien Soriano, president of Arcep, the telecommunications regulatory authority, said he was “powerless” to regulate the environmental footprint of 5G.

"We do not have an instrument that allows us to regulate, to set up safeguards, constraints, to ensure that there is environmental control in 5G", he declared.

"Today, about 80% of the digital environmental footprint, according to a recent Senate report, is in terminals," he said.

"The top priority is to better regulate the way in which smartphones are supplied to customers, the way in which they are encouraged to renew their smartphones, whether through commercial practices that give discounts or whether it is through obsolescence. software, ”he added.

"Is there any planned obsolescence?

We all know very well, ”responded Stéphane Richard, assuring that Orange is trying to tackle it“ with our means, that is to say recycling ”.


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  • Orange

  • Recycling

  • Smartphone

  • 5G

  • Telecommunications

  • Telephony

  • Economy