A co-construction approach

We are engaged in a 5G co-construction process across the whole ecosystem of researchers, universities, tech partners and different business sectors: from transportation to manufacturing, and health to entertainment. This open collaboration allows Orange to better understand the issues, new business models and needs, and to test use cases.

Large-scale 5G business development requires a global standard that will allow for interoperable and sustainable solutions. Orange plays an active role in the global standardisation partnership 3GPP. A significant milestone was reached at the end of December 2017 with the publication of the first version of the 5G standard 5G NR (NR for New Radio), with the second version published in June 2018.

Since 2012, we have been actively contributing to 5G research activities by participating in the European public-private partnership 5G PPP and by working with the French national research agency (ANR).

In addition to research and standardisation, we are also preparing for the arrival of 5G in Europe through major initiatives with technology and innovation partners:

  • In January 2017, wejoined forces with Nokia to test 5G uses for businesses on their co-innovation platform (located at the Nokia site in Saclay, Essonne)
  • In February 2017, we announced a partnership with UTAC CERAM, a world leader in vehicle testing and certification including autonomous vehicles, for the 4G / 5G connectivity of the Linas-Montlhéry site. We have already deployed a 4G public connection for Ericsson’s test track and is now providing 4G / 5G private connectivity to test the 5G features needed for self-driving cars. Field tests began in 2019
  • We see 5G as an alternative to fibre for providing high-speed broadband in certain regions and conducted field trials under real conditions in Romania, in partnership with Samsung and Cisco, between June and mid-July 2018
  • In France, we have deployed 5G pilot networks in Lille and Douai with Ericsson equipment, and in Marseille with Nokia equipment, and have been carrying out end-to-end technical tests since June 2018
  • In the spring of 2019, we also announced several co-innovation projects in key sectors of the economy – such as industry 4.0, energy and transport – along with Schneider Electric, SNCF, Nokia, Renault and Ericsson
  • These technical and service tests are also being conducted in other countries. For example, in Spain, Orange has tested advanced 5G services based on network slicing, such as ultra-low latency

Since September 2019, Orange has been running 5G trials with individual and business customers in several countries. We have also launched several initiatives as part of an open innovation approach, including:

  • The launch of a 5G Lab at the Orange Gardens site in Châtillon, near Paris, at the end of 2018. Partners rely on the site’s 5G connectivity to test their products and services
  • A Europe-wide start-up challenge was launched in January 2019. The three winners are supported by Orange experts, and have the opportunity to test their offers and services on a 5G pilot network

5G, and responsible connectivity

Developing 5G is a commitment to providing connectivity that’s as efficient and progressively accessible to as many people as possible, while paying constant attention to network energy efficiency.

It’s in this context that Orange works to standardise and harmonise frequencies on a worldwide scale with its European partners and international organisations.

A special feature of the 5G multi-service network will be the ability to use smart antennas which are activated on demand, which means only where and when they are needed, enabling much greater energy efficiency.