Orange announced on Wednesday its intention to deploy its 5G network from December 3 in France.
Initially, 15 cities will be covered, including Nice, Marseille, Le Mans, Angers and Clermont-Ferrand.
The operator promises speeds up to 3 to 4 times faster than 4G.
After months of heated debate, 5G is materializing in France for the end of the year.
After SFR, which opened the ball rolling on November 20 in Nice, the first city partially covered by this new mobile network, Orange will enter the dance on December 3.
The first operator, with its 20 million mobile subscribers, presented on Wednesday the first stages of the deployment of its 5G network.
On the first day, 15 cities will be covered, including Nice, Marseille, Le Mans, Angers and Clermont-Ferrand.
In total, Orange 5G will be present in "more than 160 municipalities" by the end of 2020.
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The list of cities may be surprising since among the ten largest municipalities in France, only two are concerned (Marseille and Nice).
But no trace of Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Lille, Nantes or Strasbourg.
And for good reason, in these metropolises, Orange and other operators are still negotiating with elected officials before activating 5G antennas.
Even if the mayors cannot block 5G, some indeed want moratoria or citizen consultations on the subject.
"The deployment will be done gradually and in a constructive dialogue with all local communities," said Stéphane Richard, CEO of Orange, quoted in the press release.
A speed 3 to 4 times faster than 4G
In the 15 cities that will be covered on December 3, Orange promises speeds "up to 3 to 4 times faster than 4G" thanks to a broad spectrum on the 3.5 GHz frequency band.
But he also specifies that this deployment "could be supplemented by the use of 2.1 GHz frequencies", now devoted to other uses.
Ultimately, when frequencies entirely dedicated to 5G become available, the new mobile network will offer speeds 10 times faster than 4G.
Until then, to take advantage of it, you will need a compatible phone and a suitable package.
At Orange, prices start at 30 euros per month and climb to 80 euros.
Utility, competitiveness, health: three questions to understand 5G
Orange is the second operator to present a detailed 5G deployment plan in France.
Before him, SFR had announced, in addition to Nice, its future coverage in Bordeaux, Nantes, Paris or even Montpellier, but without giving a precise date.
We are now awaiting the plan of the last two operators.
Bouygues will make its announcements on December 1.
Free, for its part, prolongs the suspense and could decide to cut prices, its trademark to stand out.