Orange has been given the go-ahead to begin 5G trials in France by the country’s regulator ARCEP.
The operator is planning to hold trials of millimetre-wave (mmWave) frequency bands for 5G in Belfort as part of the mmMagic project.
Orange has been permitted to conduct trials of bands sitting between 6GHz and 100GHz in the city until the end of 2016, ahead of the expected introduction of 5G networks in 2020.
ARCEP said the research of very high frequency bands will be a “key component” of hitting the performance expectations of next-generation networks, as they are not used by current mobile networks.
Recent trials by Nokia and NTT DOCOMO demonstrated how speeds of up to 10GBps can be achieved using mmWave frequencies.
Meanwhile, small cell vendors are reaping the benefits of a booming market as the demand for mmWave and sub-6GHz backhaul grows.
A statement from ARCEP said: “The developments surrounding 5G aim to increase both the speed and capacity of mobile networks, and to improve connectivity to enable the emergence of new applications such as the Internet of Things.
“These trials mark a first step towards the development of 5G technologies.”
The regulator added that work would begin to find “globally harmonised” mmWave frequencies following November’s World Radiocommunication Conference in Switzerland.