On March 17, Laure de La Raudière, president of the French Communications Regulator ARCEP, and two French government ministers (Agnès Pannier-Runacher, the Minister of Industry and Cédric O, the Secretary of State for Digital Transformation and Electronic Communications) announced that the 3.8GHz-4.0GHz frequency band would be established as the frequency of industrial 5G private network. French companies/institutions in the fields of manufacturing, logistics, energy, health, and smart cities can apply for relevant frequencies to build their own 5G private networks before the end of 2022.
ARCEP pointed out that since 3.8GHz-4.0GHz is close to the main frequency band 3.4GHz-3.8GHz of the French 5G public network, the 3.8GHz-4.0GHz 5G private network of industrial enterprises/institutions will be able to reuse the existing mature and diversified 5G terminal and network equipment ecosystem.
This latest move by the French government follows a report and recommendations from Philippe Herbert, the Mission 5G Industrielle president. The report summarizes seven reasons why French industry is lagging, including poor access to spectrum, insufficient availability of suitable equipment and services, insufficient digital skills, and a lack of ecosystem maturity for 5G in French and European industries.
In addition, the French government pointed out that French mobile communication operators have certain obligations to support industrial enterprises/institutions, including providing dedicated 5G slices in the 3.4GHz-3.8GHz frequency band.