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Open 5G sites: Orange and Free still far ahead

on Friday, 16 April 2021 Posted in Archives Rezopole

Open 5G sites: Orange and Free still far ahead

Arcep published its observatory of commercial 5G deployments on April 14th. As of March 31th, operators have commercially opened 12,917 5G sites, including 2,838 in the 3.5 GHz band. While analysis of the operators' curves shows that no one is neglecting the fifth-generation technology, not all are moving at the same pace.


With nearly 13,000 sites open in 5G in France at the end of March, mobile network deployment is steady. In just a few months, operators have secured coverage for millions of potential subscribers, and Arcep is even talking about "steady progress for the first few months of 2021."


Orange has activated the most sites and antennas in the 5G "core band" with 1,105 sites in 3.5 GHz. The incumbent operator is also supporting this deployment with 2.1 GHz technology (medium frequencies), enabling speeds equivalent to 4G since it exploits a band already in operation. By 2023, this middle band will provide access to new 5G services in current 4G areas.


Free Mobile continues to do well. Although the operator founded by Xavier Niel has activated fewer 3.5 GHz sites than Orange (824 vs. 1,105), it is the operator that has opened the most sites in France: 8,074 in total, i.e. 1,030 additional sites in one month, compared with 338 for Orange.

Unlike its three competitors, Free is still betting heavily on low frequencies (700 MHz). More than 7,000 sites have been opened in this band, which has lower bandwidths but has the advantage of penetrating buildings better.


As for the other two operators. Bouygues Telecom is still ahead of SFR, and even Orange in the total number of sites, from a statistical point of view. The operator - a subsidiary of the French construction giant - has activated a total of 2,263 sites, including 491 in 3.5 GHz and 2,091 in 2.1 GHz.

In terms of the number of 5G sites opened in 3.5 GHz, SFR is on a par with Bouygues Telecom with a total of 418. But the operator with the red square is clearly behind for the additional sites. Indeed, it has commercially opened 778 sites in 2.1 GHz. That is a total of 1 196 activated 5G sites all frequencies combined. This places SFR quite far from its first competitor.



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Source : Clubic





IPv6 available for Free mobile users

on Thursday, 31 December 2020 Posted in Archives Rezopole

IPv6 available for Free mobile users

Free was lagging behind when it came to activating IPv6 support on the mobile, but that has now changed. Indeed, a new option has appeared in the Free Mobile subscriber area allowing to activate it.


The transition to IPv6 has been a long-standing issue for operators since the shortage of IPv4 addresses has been felt for several years. The use of the new IP address standard solves the problem; the new protocol has an almost unlimited stock of IP addresses attributable to devices.


At the beginning of December, the Arcep updated its barometer of the IPv6 transition in France. Bouygues is doing well in this respect, with 87% of Android customers and 98% of iOS customers IPv6-enabled. Second came Orange with 35% on Android and 60% on iOS, while on SFR, only 0.2% of Android customers had activated IPv6. Free was last, as IPv6 activation was simply not available for the ISP's mobile clients until then.


While Free has been a poor performer on cell phones, the operator is catching up on fixed Internet networks with 99% of its customers having an IPv6-enabled connection. Next comes Orange with 75%, followed by Bouygues at 28% and SFR at 1.6%.



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Source : ZDNet





IPv6 progresses slowly in France

on Thursday, 10 December 2020 Posted in Archives Rezopole

IPv6 progresses slowly in France

Despite the shortage of IPv4 addresses, the Arcep draws a mixed picture of the transition to the IPv6 network protocol. In its annual barometer, the gendarme des Télécom notes the progress made by operators in the fixed-line sector, in particular Free, and to a lesser extent Orange. While both have high rates of IPv6-activated customers, SFR appears to be lagging behind, while Bouygues Telecom must accelerate its efforts.

In the mobile sector, Bouygues Telecom has made the most effort, followed by Orange. As for SFR, they are working twice as hard to catch up, while Free Mobile has still not begun the transition.


However, it is the rate of mail hosting that alarms the Arcep the most. Indeed, only Google stands out with more than 95% of domain names in IPv6 for mail servers.


Today, France would rank tenth in the world Top 30 in terms of IPv6 usage rate. It would rank fifth, behind Belgium, Germany, Greece and Switzerland at the European level.



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Source : 01Net





5G: operators know their positioning

on Friday, 06 November 2020 Posted in Archives Rezopole

5G: operators know their positioning

The Arcep, by putting an end to the call for tenders for 5G frequencies, has just delivered the positioning of operators on the 3.5 GHz band.

Only Free will have spent 3 million euros to secure a central position in the 5G "queen band". Iliad's French subsidiary will have access to 70 MHz of frequencies on a block ranging from 3.64 GHz to 3.71 GHz.

In detail, SFR will have 80 MHz of frequencies on a block ranging from 3.49 GHz to 3.57 GHz, while the 70 MHz of frequencies held by Bouygues Telecom will be located between 3.57 GHz and 3.64 GHz. Finally, Orange, which holds the largest block of frequencies, with 90 MHz of 5G frequencies, will have a block ranging from 3.71 GHz to 3.80 GHz.


During this second phase of the auction, the operators have disbursed a total of 2.78 billion euros. Bouygues Telecom paid 602 million euros to acquire 70 MHz of frequencies in the 3.5 GHz band, as did Free, which added 3 million euros to this sum to benefit from the positioning of its choice. For its part, SFR invested 728 million euros to get its hands on 80 MHz of frequencies, while Orange spent 854 million euros to get its hands on 90 MHz of frequencies in the 3.5 GHz band.


350 million spent by each operator to purchase fixed 50 MHz blocks will be reimbursed "in 15 equal parts over 15 years, the first part upon the award of the frequency license and the other 14 parts on the anniversary date of the award".

The amounts paid by the operators during the auction and positioning phase will be repayable "in four equal parts payable over four years, the first as soon as the authorization to use the frequencies is granted and the other three on the anniversary date of the grant".

"In addition to these sums, a variable annual portion equal to 1% of the revenues generated by the operation of these frequencies will be added to these amounts," said the telecom police officer.

The frequencies will be officially delivered by the Arcep as of November 18th. But operators will still have to wait for the ANFR's approval before they can market their first 5G offers to the general public and professionals, which should take about 10 additional days.


Concerning the marketing of 5G packages, the operators have not yet made their strategies known. In any case, they will have to wait for the approval of the municipalities to officially launch the 5G era among users. If patience is therefore required, operators are already beginning the major maneuvers to lower the cost of their 5G infrastructure.



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Source : ZDNet





Extension of the roaming agreement between Free and Orange

on Friday, 30 October 2020 Posted in Archives Rezopole

Extension of the roaming agreement between Free and Orange

On October 23rd, the Arcep validated an amendment to the roaming contract that already bound the two operators. Free will thus be able to use Orange's 2G and 3G networks for its own commercial offers until December 31, 2022 instead of December 31, 2020. This is despite criticism from SFR, Bouygues Telecom or other alternative operators grouped within the Alternative Telecom association.


To justify its delay in deploying its own 2G and 3G infrastructures, the operator founded by Xavier Niel denounced the mutualization of networks signed in 2014 by Bouygues Telecom and SFR, the reinforced 4G deployment obligations imposed by the New Mobile Deal, and the lack of frequencies.

This argument hit the nail on the head with the Arcep, which nevertheless maintained the cap on the maximum upload and download speeds achievable by roaming customers at 384 kbits.


Even if the Arcep assures that it will "remain attentive to the continued investment by Free Mobile in the deployment of its own networks", this is not enough to calm the criticism of those opposed to this extension.

Starting with the management of SFR, for whom "ten years after obtaining its 3G license, this roaming agreement granted to Free Mobile is only the admission of a crying lack of investment by Free Mobile during all these years".

For its part, Bouygues Telecom points out that "roaming was designed from the outset as a transitional measure, with the sole aim of enabling the new entrant to compensate for its late entry into the market". However, "Free can no longer be described as a new entrant in the mobile telephony market" and "now has a network that is broadly comparable to that of its competitors, and therefore quite sufficient to enable it to compete vigorously" in the mobile market."

Alternative operators point out that the license granted to Free Mobile by the authorities was awarded "in exchange for ambitious commitments to stimulate competition".


These criticisms did not prevent the extension of the roaming agreement between Free and Orange. Even if Free's management is now tending to catch up in terms of deployment, it is not certain that this will be enough to calm the slings and arrows of its competitors. Especially since the recent statements of Orange's CEO concerning a possible mutualization of the two operators' 5G networks should not help to pacify the debate.



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Source : ZDNet




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