The data published by the National Frequency Agency for the month of March shows that the health crisis has not really had a visible impact in figures on the deployment of 4G.
In fact, as of April 1st, ANFR recorded a 1% increase in requests for authorizations and activation of 4G sites from one month to the next. This is the usual rate, but the restrictions were not put in place until mid-March and there may be a delay between the installation of an antenna and its activation.
The impact is likely to be observable in the data for the coming months as operators are now giving priority to the maintenance and resizing of their networks. The objective is to cope with the high demand on the networks - voice and data - and the new geographical situation brought about by confinement.
The emergency law voted to deal with the consequences of the coronavirus epidemic includes a digital infrastructure component for mobile operators. They will be able to use a "simplified procedure for sites that will ensure continuity of service". However, this initiative is too recent to be included in the March report, as "the request for authorisation of sites authorised on 1 April was received before this system was applicable", explains the ANFR.
Orange was the most dynamic in March, with 350 new sites, followed by SFR (276), Free (251) and Bouygues Telecom (83). The incumbent operator maintained its leadership in terms of the number of 4G sites operated (21,830), ahead of SFR (19,000), Bouygues Telecom (18,188) and Free (15,586).
The situation is slightly different in terms of the number of activated antennas. Orange is also the leader here with 1,481 new activations. But it is Free that we find behind with 1,016 activated antennas. Activity was significantly less intense in March at SFR (553) and Bouygues Telecom (352).
Source : DegroupNews