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The science ticket. 5G, a long-distance race for attributions but hostility from part of the public

France launched the first auctions on September 29 for the allocation of 5G frequencies. (MAXPPP)

France has therefore launched the auction for 5G frequencies. These allocations should pave the way for the first 5G services to be marketed in certain cities at the end of the year. Orange obtained the largest share of “blocks” at stake, announced Thursday, October 1, Arcep, the telecoms regulator. This main auction will be followed by a positioning auction “in October”.

5G, the fifth generation of mobile network, Still arouses a lot of reluctance, to such an extent that municipalities like that of Lille have just voted for a moratorium on the deployment of 5G, Martine Aubry having I quote: “doubts about the health impact and digital sobriety”.

This 5G defended, among others by operators, allows the transmission in gigabits, or 1 billion binary information (0 or 1) per second, or 10 times more than current 4G. It allows, among other things, to streamline remote work, or for professional applications such as the Internet of Things or smart cities.

“We have capacity needs because we are coming to the end of existing networks. Then, we also need it for companies, for smart cities, to provide new uses that break with reliable communications that make it possible to develop uses on industry 4.0 “, precise Michaël Trabbia, Director of Technology Innovation at Orange.

Industry 4.0 consists, among other things, in bringing together the physical world such as machine tools, robots or 3 D printers and their remote control thanks to high speed. Or the sharing of data for research or urgent medical operations remotely.

Energy consumption is a big debate between “5G-skeptics” and mobile operators. According to Arcep, the independent telecoms regulator, 4G today consumes three times more than ADSL, or 10 times more than fiber. And for Stephen Kerckhove, general delegate of the Agir pour l'Environnement association, consumption will increase overall.

In countries where it has been developed, we are witnessing a rebound effect: per unit of data transmitted, we gain in energy efficiency, but we consume a lot more (2 to 3 times more) so we end up having an electricity consumption that increases.

Stephen Kerckhove, General Delegate of Agir pour l'Environnement

Michael Trabbia of Orange disagrees: “We are reaching the end of the capacity of existing networks. We therefore need new frequencies and more efficient technologies in terms of energy. 5G is a technology that will be 10 times more efficient than current technologies. “

Regarding health effects, NGOs are calling for more impact studies: We are not calling for a ban on 5G, we are just asking to objectify the controversies, that the scientists and experts who have been commissioned by the government have the time to submit their reports and their expertise “, underlines Stéphen Kerckhove.

Manufacturers, for their part, report studies that they believe would already be
probative.

There are over 20,000 scientific studies that have been done. Health authorities around the world have spoken on this subject. There are no health risks from the airwaves.

Michaël Trabbia, Director of Technology Innovation at Orange

The debate is still divided between those who advocate innovation and those who favor caution. An eternal debate, for a choice of society.

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