Arcep explains the use of 5G by French operators. The two winners are currently Orange and Free Mobile. As a reminder: The four operators have activated 5G in their networks in the past few weeks. Free Mobile was the last one to offer it.
When it comes to the number of 5G antennas, Free Mobile is number one. The operator has 5,303 5G locations in France. Bouygues Telecom follows with 1,344 5G locations. Then there is Orange with 646 5G locations and SFR with 278 5G locations. Free Mobile is way ahead of the rest as it mainly offers 5G with the 700 MHz band. This has already been used for 4G. It offers good coverage, but the speed is average.
When it comes to 5G speeds, orange comes first. In fact, 475 of its 646 5G locations use the 3.5 GHz band. This is the one that offers very good speeds. Free follows with 221 5G sites supporting this band. Then there is Bouygues Telecom (115 locations) and SFR (97 locations).
So we got it: if you want to use 5G in as many places as possible, the first thing you need to do is turn to Free Mobile. And if we want high-speed 5G, we have to give Orange priority.
Of course, the four French operators will continue to operate over the months. It will be interesting to see if Free Mobile and Orange remain the most active operators.