Orange Group plans to conduct new 5G trials in Europe to test use cases such as autonomous vehicles and fixed consumer broadband services with its technology partners.
Orange's 5G strategy is based on three components: improved high-speed mobile broadband, high-speed fixed broadband access and new applications to support the digital transformation of businesses.
Orange has been chosen by UTAC CERAM, a world leader in testing and certifying vehicles, including autonomous cars, as its 4G/5G connectivity partner. Orange will provide 4G+ high speed coverage on the entire site of Linas-Montlhéry (Ile-de-France).
In addition, in collaboration with Ericsson, Orange will deploy an experimental mobile infrastructure to test the necessary 5G functionalities for autonomous vehicles. This test network is planned to open in the autumn of 2018. With Ericsson's 5G equipment, Orange will launch France’s first ever end-to-end test in Lille and Douai between mid-2018 and mid-2019 as soon as Arcep has accorded the necessary authorisations.
Orange also plans to test 5G for high-speed broadband access in the home under real conditions in Romania during the second half of 2018 with its partners Samsung and Cisco.
Orange has chosen fibre to provide high-speed broadband to homes in Europe. Where fibre has not yet been deployed to the home, a high-speed broadband access solution using 5G could be an interesting option in suburban areas in certain countries.
Orange also announced a partnership with Nokia and Kathrein for the design of a smart antenna that manages 4G/5G connectivity. This type of antenna, which is currently in the prototype stage, will be compact enough to be installed on existing mobile towers.