US News: 5G in Paris: town hall-operators agreement for a deployment "in the coming weeks"

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The mayor of Paris and the telecom operators announced on Friday that they had reached an agreement on the deployment of 5G "in the coming weeks", while the French capital still does not benefit from the latest generation mobile network, just like several other large French cities.

The town hall of Paris and the telecom operators agreed on Friday to deploy 5G "in the coming weeks" in the capital which still does not have the latest generation mobile network .

Following the citizens' conference organized by the city at the end of December, a new mobile telephony charter, supposed to give Parisian citizens "better information" on the impacts of 5G , will be submitted to the Paris council of March, the city said in a statement.

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A desire for "transparency"

The charter will also aim to guarantee "transparency on the installation of antennas" . In return, the operators made a particular commitment to “optimizing the recycling of telephone equipment”.

It is the signing of this charter by the town hall and the operators (Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Orange and SFR) that will make possible the commercial launch of 5G in Paris "in the coming weeks" .

"The operators are showing, once again, their willingness and ability to dialogue with local elected officials in a constructive manner, and for the benefit of all" , welcomed Nicolas Guérin, President of the French Telecoms Federation. "5G must be welcomed, without fear, and with enthusiasm since the health and control authorities concur in the absence of specific health effects of 5G below the exposure limit values" , a-t -he adds.

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Thousands of 5G sites

More than 8,600 5G sites have been commercially opened by Orange, SFR, Free and Bouygues Telecom since the end of November in France, outside of Paris and several major cities, according to data published in January by the 'Telecoms regulatory authority (Arcep).

From Paris to Nantes, via Rennes, several green or left-wing mayors of large cities had decided to launch at the end of 2020 a "public debate" in particular to respond to a "need for transparency" on the subject of impact of the deployment of 5G on the environment or health.

Other municipalities such as Lille have already announced that they are in favor of a moratorium until the publication scheduled for spring 2021 of a report from the National Health Security Agency (Anses).

Anxious to avoid any arm wrestling, operators and public authorities have assured that they will take into account local reluctance to defuse a subject which has become controversial since the Citizen's Climate Convention itself recommended a moratorium this summer.

Several cities, initially recalcitrant, thus ended up letting operators switch on their 5G networks, like Strasbourg, Lyon or Bordeaux. Bordeaux, led by environmentalist Pierre Hurmic, even said "sorry" for the opening of 5G in the city in early February despite its reluctance.

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