Orange prepares for 5G 'transformation' by unveiling plans for three new tests in Europe

By Johan De Mulder

Orange is to carry out three major tests in Europe as it prepares for the arrival of 5G.

The French telco has been chosen by vehicle-tester UTAC CERAM as its connectivity partner for autonomous cars and will provide coverage at its Linas-Montlhéry site.

On top of further work with Ericsson on testing 5G applications for autonomous vehicles, Orange will establish its first end-to-end 5G network in Lille and Douai in 2018 and 2019.

In Romania, with partners Samsung and Cisco, it will test the maturity of a high-speed broadband solution that could help companies with back-up network solutions.

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Ericsson is projecting that a fifth of the world's population will be hooked into 5G networks by 2023, with 1bn subscriptions set to be held within the next five years.

"5G is truly going to revolutionize usages," said Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, Executive Director of Innovation, Marketing and Technologies.

"It will enable mobile broadband speed up to 10 times faster than 4G, provide very high speed fixed access and will make possible new services that we are now starting to design and test with our partners. This is the beginning of transformation that will affect the whole of our society and lead us towards a genuinely 5G Generation."

Deutsche Telekom recently announced a collaboration with the Port of Hamburg to test 5G applications in an industrial setting, while Nokia has signed an MoU with Telefónica to develop the technology.

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