It took until the end of last year to see the first 5G networks appear in France. Since then, the deployment has continued and will be long. Which cities are the best covered? Ariase’s record takes stock.
To enjoy good 5G coverage, it is better to live in Nice, Cannes or Vénissieux, or in small towns with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants, according to data collected by Ariase, the comparison site for mobile plans and internet boxes. The observatory is based on an index which corresponds to the number of 5G sites per 1,000 inhabitants, according to data provided by Arcep.
Small towns at the forefront
In the category of metropolises with more than 200,000 inhabitants, it is therefore Nice which comes first with 0.37 sites per 1,000 inhabitants. The city was the very first to access 5G. It is followed by Montpellier (0.32) and Marseille (0.30). And Paris? The first 5G sites could light up at the end of March, after a process of public debate.
In the municipalities of 50,000 to 200,000 inhabitants, Cannes takes first place (0.37), followed by Vénissieux (0.36) and Aix-en-Provence (0.34). The ranking of towns with 20,000 to 50,000 inhabitants gives Les Pennes-Mirabeau first (0.51), then Saint-Laurent-du-Var (0.48) and Blagnac (0.45). Finally, in the ranking of municipalities of 5,000 to 20,000 inhabitants, salute Lesquin with 0.93 5G sites per 1,000 inhabitants, all categories record, then Aubière (0.79) and Rungis (0.70).
Small towns have understood the value of presenting themselves as a champion of 5G: it attracts investment and companies wishing to benefit from the best possible network coverage. The mayors of the largest cities, for their part, must face stronger opposition from associations and citizen groups worried about the consequences, real or supposed, of 5G on the environment and health.
The coverage of the territory has experienced a boost with the conversion by Free Mobile of its 700 MHz antennas which were used until now for 4G. The operator therefore has a good coverage rate, but the speeds are not necessarily at the level of what a 3.5 GHz network can offer.