ISO 3166 Code
France, officially the French Republic (République française), is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in western Europe, as well as several overseas regions and territories. The French Republic has five overseas collectivities (French Polynesia, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, and Wallis and Futuna), one sui generis collectivity (New Caledonia), five departments (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Réunion), one overseas territory (French Southern and Antarctic Lands), and one island possession in the Pacific Ocean (Clipperton Island).
France is a member of the ITU and as such follows radio frequency harmonisation principles according to ITU-R Region-1. The regulatory body governing communications policy is the Autorité de Régulation des Communications électroniques et des Postes (ARCEP), and the Agence Nationale des Fréquences (ANFR) is charged with regulating the country's radio frequency spectrum activities such as planning, allocations, and licencing.
According to latest ITU estimates (June 2017) 3G mobile services are available to 99% of the French population, and 4G LTE accessible by over 90%.
Following a public consultation closed in February 2018, the French Agence Nationale des Fréquences (ANFR) announced mid-2017 its intention to upgrade wireless local loops using a small subset of the 3.5 GHz band, and dedicate the remainder of the 3.4 to 3.8 GHz band to national mobile network operators for 5G services.
In June 2017, ARCEP invited national operators to conduct initial 5G trials via a sub-band of 80 MHz between 3600 to 3680 MHz. During 2018 ARCEP awarded temporary 3.5 GHz licences to Orange and Bouygues Telecom to achieve their 5G trials:
- Orange received permission to use spectrum in the 3.7 to 3.8 GHz band for 5G trials for a period of 12 months starting June 2018 in two cities (Lille, Douai)
- Bouygues Telecom was awarded a temporary licence in the 3.6 to 3.7 GHz band, valid until September 2020 for 5G pilots in three cities (Bordeaux, Lyon, and Villeurbanne).
ARCEP launched a public consultation in May 2018 on the use of 26 GHz for 5G. The French 5G Roadmap released in July 2018 disclosed that a major 5G event was to be organised in the first half of 2019.