France’s four network operators have agreed to an updated charter with the Paris’s municipal government, which will enable the launch of 5G technology in France’s capital in the coming weeks, the local municipal government said in a statement.

This agreement follows the conclusion of a consultation process launched at the end of 2020 by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, aimed at gathering feedback from the public on topics such as the environmental and health issues related to 5G deployments.

The deal was signed by local operators Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Orange and SFR.

The new pact stipulates limitation of exposure to radio waves, information and transparency on the installation of 5G antennas as well as monitoring of the environmental impact of 5G deployments in the city.

“This new charter is the result of work started in the fall with the organization of a metropolitan citizens’ conference on 5G. Its 21 recommendations were presented at the Paris council in December. They go in the direction of better information for citizens on the impacts of 5G and of the different uses of digital technology, of better practices for the recovery and recycling of terminals, of a reflection on the ‘intelligent’ uses of 5G,  and better information on personal data management rules,” the statement said.

The city of Paris committed to provide Parisians with complete and transparent information on the impacts of mobile telephony and 5G by publishing the reports of the competent national agencies as well as the information provided by the operators.

France had a total of 19,938 5G authorized sites as of February 1, of which 9,426 were declared technically operational by the mobile telephone operators, France’s spectrum agency ANFR recently reported.

The agency said that all these 5G sites have been authorized on existing sites, already used by 2G, 3G or 4G technologies.

The agency also noted that according to information provided by the local mobile operators, 48.9% of authorized sites are technically operational.

In France, mobile operators are currently providing 5G services through three frequency bands.

A total of 4,413 sites are authorized in the 700 MHz band (Free Mobile), of which 6,274 are already technically operational. Also, ANFR said that 5,678 sites are authorized in the 2,100 MHz band (Bouygues Telecom, Orange and SFR), but 3,159 are technically operational.

Meanwhile, 4,775 sites are authorized in the new 3.5 GHz band (Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Orange and SFR), of which 1,624 are declared technically operational.

Orange has already activated 5G in 160 cities across the country, the operator’s CEO Stéphane Richard recently said in an interview with local newspaper Jornal du Dimanche. Some of the initial cities covered by Orange’s 5G network include Marseille, Nice, Le Mans and Angers.

Iliad subsidiary Free Mobile launched commercial 5G services in the country in December.

In December 2020, Bouygues Telecom initially launched 5G in 20 cities across France. Some of the cities covered by the company’s 5G network are Lyon, Nice, Cannes, Montpellier, Avignon, Reims, Le Havre, Toulon, Dijon, Villeurbanne, Le Mans, Aix-en-Provence, Boulogne-Billancourt, Metz, Versailles, Saint Denis, Argenteuil, Rouen, Montreuil and Nancy.

Meanwhile, SFR had initially launched its 5G commercial network in Nice in November.

Some of the large cities to be covered by SFR’s 5G network include Bordeaux, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Montpellier, Nantes, Nice and Paris.

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