After the French telecom regulator ARCEP approved experimentation frequencies in the 26GHz range, Orange will test 5G in Châtillon and Rennes.
Through the projects, Orange will assess the performances of these new frequencies as well as the technical and environmental conditions in which they can be used. The operator also wants to evaluate the benefits of 5G in the 26 GHz band for applications in busy areas such as railway stations, airports, stadiums and concert venues.
Rail with SNCF and Nokia
The first experiment, set to launch before the end of the year, will trial an almost-instant download service for HD content at Rennes train station, together with SNCF and Nokia. Orange will be using 5G devices from Sony equipped with a Qualcomm modem and processor.
From 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 to watch while they travel.
Orange also plans to open its Orange Gardens 5G Lab in Châtillon to partners and companies who also want to test 5G applications in the 26 GHz band.
The Lab provides an indoor and outdoor test environment for 5G. Since December 2018, around 15 companies have trialled their products and services using the3.4-3.8 GHz frequency band.
Over the next few months, Orange expects business to test applications such as 4K/8K HD video streaming; augmented, virtual and mixed reality; 5G video production; online gaming in the cloud; e-sports tournaments and so on.
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 stimulate collaboration on these new use-cases across all economic sectors.”