France launches new measures to boost industrial 5G adoption
Vertical sectors in France are already permitted to use frequencies in the 2.6GHz and 26GHz bands for industrial 5G
The French government announced new measures aimed at promoting access to 5G for manufacturers and vertical sectors in the country, with the aim of accelerating the deployment of industrial 5G use cases in the country.
The government and telecommunications services regulator Arcep announced that local industrial companies can apply to access frequencies in the 3.8 GHz to 4.0 GHz band until the end of this year.
As part of this initiative, businesses in sectors including manufacturing, logistics, energy, health, smart city and more will each be able to make use of a 100 megahertz block in this band for three years to trial different use cases.
The regulator noted that businesses will have access to a “mature and varied ecosystem of terminals and equipment” because of the band’s proximity to the core 5G band (3.4 GHz to 3.8 GHz).
Vertical sectors are already permitted to use frequencies in the 2.6 GHz and 26 GHz bands in France.
Arcep also announced the creation of a portal to simplify access to the 2.6 GHz TDD band for professional mobile networks.
“In an effort to simplify frequency access procedures, Arcep is launching a digital authorization request portal for professional mobile networks in the 2.6 GHz TDD band. This portal replaces the request form and now allows players in professional mobile networks to visualize on a map the frequency resources available and the frequencies already allocated, to make a request for frequencies, and to follow the instruction of their request by Arcep departments,” the regulator said.
These two new measures are in addition to previous initiatives by the government and Arcep to promote access to 5G for industrial companies and vertical users.
In 2019, the government and Arcep had opened a first window specifically for ‘verticals’, which enabled the development of the first private 4G/5G networks in the 2.6 GHz TDD band. This system was supplemented the same year by a call for the creation of experimental platforms in the 26 GHz band, resulting in the opening of 15 platforms.
In September 2020, the French government launched a call for projects in order to accelerate 5G applications. “The call for projects is one of the many mechanisms of the 5G acceleration strategy and future telecommunications network technologies to support the development of 5G uses for the benefit of territories and industry,” Arcep said.
These new measures follow a report published by Philippe Herbert, president of Mission 5G Industrielle, which identified a total of seven reasons why the use of 5G in the industry in France is behind other European countries.
These include poor access to relevant spectrum frequencies, the insufficient availability of suitable equipment and services, difficulty in finding the right skills, and the lack of maturity of French and European industrial 5G ecosystems.