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Xavier Niel took everyone by surprise. According to the boss of Free, 5G should be available in Paris “before the end of February”. On the set of BFM Business, Monday evening, the entrepreneur however used some precautions. “It’s not up to me,” he recalled, with an embarrassed smile. Moreover, this Tuesday, his company refused to make any additional declaration.
Because the subject is sensitive in the capital. To play the concertation, the City had organized a “citizens’ conference” to discuss the deployment of 5G in the capital. In its conclusions, delivered in mid-December, there was ultimately no strong constraint on the arrival of this new mobile telephone network, which allows content to be downloaded ten times faster than with 4G. Hence the confidence displayed by Xavier Niel.
Fatoumata Koné, the president of the environmental group at the Paris Council, therefore wonders if the latter met the teams of Anne Hidalgo (PS) to advance, or if it is “a stroke of bluff for put pressure “. A letter to the attention of the mayor of Paris had been in preparation by his group for a few days. It was sent this Tuesday, at the end of the day.
Environmentalists want to wait longer
“We are once again calling for a moratorium on the deployment of 5G in Paris,” says Fatoumata Koné. Our goal is not to ban this technology, but to wait for the conclusions of impact studies to do so. Parisians can live without 5G for a few more months. “
This moratorium wanted by environmentalists, who urge Anne Hidalgo “not to abdicate in the face of financial interests”, is nothing new. They had requested it several times in recent months. In vain.
“The fight is not lost,” thinks Fatoumata Koné. Because recent reports support their wish, she believes. “5G will significantly increase our greenhouse gas emissions, as demonstrated by the High Council for the Climate,” the elected officials wrote in their letters. Effects that would go “against our objectives” included in the Climate plan, which aim to reduce these emissions by 50% by 2030.
At the town hall of Paris, we obviously want to reassure: “After the organization of this citizens’ conference, the City is now working on updating its mobile telephony charter. Discussions will take place this week. As soon as the City and the operators have reached a common text, making it possible in particular to take into account the 21 recommendations of the citizens’ conference, the update will be the subject of a vote in the Council of Paris. “
Everything is already ready
No date of commissioning is therefore announced. From a technological point of view, nothing seems to prevent it in any case. 5G could be activated tomorrow if the City gives its consent. The operators having taken the lead, more than 1,000 antennas, including 486 of the latest generation, are ready to transmit, according to figures from the National Frequency Agency (ANFR) in December. But none is yet activated.
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“We are continuing discussions with the City. The launch will take place in this concerted framework with all the operators, without delay for the Parisians, ”answers Orange, for example, which is also playing it safe.
If for the general public, there is indeed no rush, companies are getting impatient. “5G will offer us new business opportunities, the possibility of improving our service”, summarizes Benjamin Athuil, co-founder of CareGame. The start-up, hosted at Station F, allows its users to play video games on their mobile without having to download them. But without a high-performance network… no customer.