Sunday, April 11

Free still first in the race for 5G, but a position to be qualified

Since November 2020, the 5G race to push four mobile operators to deploy many 5G sites. The objective is to offer optimal coverage of the territory in order to attract new consumers to packages with generally higher prices. Arcep has just sent its latest readings.

Source : Frederik Lipfert / Unspash

Gamesdone : Frederik Lipfert / Unspash

While 5G is finally deployed in intramural Paris, Arcep – the Electronic Communications and Post Regulatory Authority – has just delivered operator data on February 28 to monitor the deployment of 5G. We can observe a sharp increase in the number of sites opened commercially.

Number of 5G sites open commercially as of February 28, 2021

Number of 5G sites open commercially as of February 28, 2021

Free just exceeded 7,044 open 5G sites against 2,029 for Bouygues Telecom, 1059 for Orange and 987 for SFR. Free Mobile appears to be way ahead of its competition as you can see from the graph below.

It is important to differentiate the number of 5G sites open per frequency band. As a reminder, for the moment, only the 3.5 GHz band is the one allocated exclusively to 5G. Theoretically, this frequency band offers sufficient bandwidth with a significant increase in bit rate. But unlike the 500 and 2100 MHz antennas, there are still very few 5G 3.5 GHz antennas.

As you can see from the graph below, Orange now has more than 800 5G 3.5 GHz sites compared to 525 for Free Mobile. It is this frequency band that makes it possible to obtain the speeds promised by 5G. We have also found speeds that can go beyond 1 Gbit / s during our first tests on the Orange network. On the 700 and 2100 MHz frequency bands, we have seen an increase of around 15% more speeds than in 4G +.

You can use one of the tools or maps to identify the antennas around you and check which frequency bands are used.

Find our comparator of the best 5G packages, it allows you to classify the packages according to your uses and needs.

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