Two years after its launch, the adoption of 5G is accelerating in France
The number of users stood at 8.2 million in the last quarter of 2022, compared…
The number of users stood at 8.2 million in the last quarter of 2022, compared to 3 million a year earlier. Good news for operators.
Undeniable acceleration. Two years after the commercial launch of 5G with great fanfare, the new mobile technology continues to make its mark in France. According to quarterly data published by the telecommunications regulator (Arcep) on Thursday evening, the number of users is accelerating significantly.
No less than 8.2 million users were active on 5G networks in the last three months of 2022, 2 million more than the previous quarter. It’s about “ of the highest growth since its commercial launch in December 2020“, explains Arcep. Over one year, 5.2 million more French people have become active users, pushing the market share of 5G SIM cards to 10% of the total.
5G is accelerating in France Arcep
Various elements plead in favor of this acceleration. “We are benefiting from the generalization of 5G terminals as well as from the increase in coverage which is now becoming significant”, explains Nicolas Chatin, director of communication at Altice France (parent company of SFR). Gradually, smartphones are all integrating the new technology, and in particular those most accessible in terms of price, which is contributing to adoption.
On the connectivity side, as of January 1, 2023, the National Radio Frequency Agency identified 38,132 5G sites, including almost 30,000 fully operational. Better coverage, which promises their users the famous very high speed and very low latency networks.
Good news for operators
For operators, this is also good news. They invested heavily at the time of the auction – 2.8 billion euros were recovered by the State – but also since by multiplying the mobile antennas. In a December 2021 report, the 5G sector observatory produced by the French Telecoms Federation (FFT), noted that the “investments to build and operate private and public 5G networks” were “estimated between 19 and 21 billion euros accumulated between 2021 and 2027”. An infrastructure largely supported by operators.
For new general public users of 5G, there will be little revolution in use. Despite the speeches tinged with euphoria from some experts at the commercial launch two years ago, it is rather in industry and the professional sphere that 5G brings its value for the moment. In the absence of extremely convincing use cases on smartphones, with the exception of the “gaming» and while waiting for virtual reality which will require low latency and reduced throughput, there is no break.
Currently, operators are also communicating on the benefit of 5G to unclog the 4G network. A necessity, given the very rapid increase in the consumption of mobile data. According to Arcep, “the growth in data consumption from mobile terminals has accelerated again since the start of 2022”with a 32% increase in one year and traffic per active 4G customer rising to 15 GB per month, or 2.4 GB more in one year.