Is Paris really ready for the arrival of 5G “before the end of February”?

    Is Paris really ready for the arrival of 5G “before the end of February”?

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    5G. (drawing) – LIONEL BONAVENTURE / AFP

    • 5G will be available in the capital “before the end of February for all operators”, Xavier Niel said on Monday.
    • For her part, the mayor of Paris indicates that she is continuing “her work of transparency vis-à-vis Parisians” without advancing on a precise timetable.
    • This Tuesday, the elected environmentalists once again asked in a letter to Anne Hidalgo to suspend the deployment of 5G in the capital.

    5G very soon in Paris? This is in any case what predicted Xavier Niel, founder of the telecom operator Free. The new network will be available in the capital “before the end of February for all operators”, he said Monday. “Paris was a careful city, there was a fear. The city has tried to do things pretty well. I was a little critical a month ago but I have the impression that things are moving in the right direction, ”said Xavier Niel in an interview on BFM Business.

    While several cities including Ile-de-France have decided to put in place moratoria – a principle recommended by the Citizen’s Climate Convention – on the deployment of the 5G network, the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, had his side, preferred the holding of a citizen consultation. And this, in order to respond to a “need for transparency” of citizens about the impact of 5G on the environment or health. “The goal is to offer crazy guards on uses and create a base,” explained one within the executive last October despite repeated calls for a moratorium from environmental allies.

    “The City continues its work of transparency”

    A metropolitan citizens’ conference, made up of twenty Parisians and sixty metropolitan residents, was thus held to debate and make recommendations on 5G. In its conclusions, the people polled issued at the end of the year, 21 recommendations, for “open, transparent information” on the consequences of its implementation, and pleaded for “recycling of equipment”.

    In detail, they notably requested that “an environmental impact study be carried out by an independent research firm in order to precisely define the impacts and benefits of 5G before its deployment”. “We will come back to them [les 80 citoyens] to tell them where we are, ”Anne Hidalgo pledged. “We will take stock at the latest within a year to say where we are and how the various recommendations have become acts,” she said. But by then, will 5G already be deployed, from the end of February, as Xavier Niel believes? Above all, is Paris ready?

    “The City is now working on updating its Parisian Charter for mobile telephony and continues its work of transparency vis-à-vis Parisians on the issue of electro-magnetic waves”, we inform the Town Hall contacted by 20 Minutes. Discussions between Parisian elected officials from different political groups, citizens’ associations, mobile telephone operators and the agencies concerned (ANFR, ARCEP, ANSES) are taking 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 of the charter will be the subject of a vote in the Council of Paris”, adds – we do not specify more about the deadline of Xavier Niel. But for their part, the Parisian environmentalists are not giving up their fight.

    Greens still call for suspension of deployment

    In a letter sent this Tuesday by the Ecologist Group of Paris to Anne Hidalgo about the deployment of 5G, including 20 Minutes obtained a copy, elected officials ask him to suspend the deployment of 5G. And this, “the time to quantify its carbon impact for Paris” and “to establish a precise assessment of the possible needs experienced on the Parisian territory to which 5G could truly meet”. And to clarify: “If 5G were deployed in Paris before the end of February 2021 as announced in a very surprising way, the founder of Free, Xavier Niel, we would have lost our balance of power with the operators to hope to impose the measures that will result. ”

    Currently, more than 7,500 5G sites have been commercially opened by Orange, SFR, Free and Bouygues Telecom since the end of November in France, outside Paris and major metropolises, according to data published by the Telecoms Regulatory Authority (Arcep) . The capital has more than 1,600 relay antennas, subject to the charter relating to mobile telephony in Paris.

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