Geographic Region (ITU/UN)

ISO 3166 Code


M49 Code




ITU Member


ITU-R Region


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 PolynesiaSaint BarthélemySaint MartinSaint 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).

Regulatory Environment

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.

Comprehensive frequency band information can be found at the L'Agence nationale des fréquences (ANFR) website, with cellular deployments at the L'observatoire en carte page.

Mobile Telecommunications

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%.

France 5G

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.

National Mobile Network Operators

There are 4 mobile network operators servicing this region.

3G: Active
4G: Active
5G: Trialling
IoT: Active, Active
IoT Technology: LoRa, eMTC (LTE Cat-M1)
3G: Active
4G: Active
5G: Trialling
IoT: N/A
3G: Active
4G: Active
5G: Trialling
IoT: Active
IoT Technology: LoRa
3G: Active
4G: Active
5G: N/A
IoT: N/A

Technology Developers

There are 1 technology developers operating in this region.

News & Developments

As part of Orange’s ambition to succeed in the field of connected objects, Orange today announces the commercial launch of its Long Term Evolution for Machines (LTE-M) network in France. The launch in France follows the opening of Orange’s first LTE-M network in Belgium in May 2018. Orange will launch further LTE-M networks in Spain and Romania by the end of 2018.

Paris, July 3, 2018 - Bordeaux is officially the first city in France to host a 5G pilot site. Bouygues Telecom has opened this morning the first 5G pilot site in France, from two base station antennas of their network, providing up to ten kilometers of coverage.

Paris, France - Nokia and SFR have successfully completed a 5G call, using the 3GPP-compliant 5G New Radio (NR) system over-the-air on the 3.5GHz frequency band. The test took place on  May 3rd, 2018, at the Nokia 5G Test Network and Competence Center in Paris-Saclay, France.

Barcelona, Spain, February 27, 2018] Huawei and Bouygues Telecom announced today a joint innovation program to experiment 5G in France. Bouygues Telecom is part of the first operators worldwide to experiment 5G 3GPP in field with Huawei. Bordeaux will be the first city for a 5G network trial, from single site to multi-site coverage.

France’s mobile carriers are planning to spend more than €3 billion on the deployment of 4G LTE networks in underserved areas across the country to eliminate coverage gaps by 2020, according to Julien Denormandie, French junior minister for territorial cohesion.

Vivendi welcomes the composition of Telecom Italia’s new Board of Directors, which was approved by the company’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on May 4, 2017. The new team, which brings together a wide variety of recognized skills, will be a valuable asset in the development of the Italian company’s strategy and in meeting its challenges in the months and years to come.