LIVE FROM ORANGE BUSINESS SUMMIT, PARIS: Orange backed 5G to drag business into real time, with the operator planning to target the first wave of its French rollout on areas with heavy proliferation of industry.

Speaking to an audience of its enterprise partners, CEO Stephane Richard urged big businesses to work with the operator to ensure 5G is developed to deliver the specific use cases needed by France’s key companies.

“We will prioritise industrial sites with the launch of 5G,” he said. “To harness this technology shift we need to look ahead without delay and work out what your [enterprise] future opportunities are as we need to be able to enable these.”

“This is something we have to do together, there’s no point waiting for the [spectrum auction] bidding or deployment to begin. France should make sure it’s not lagging behind, quite the opposite we want to be ahead of competitors.”

He added 5G would be fundamentally different from previous generations of mobile technologies where networks were deployed and then use cases formed. In contrast, the new generation will be built specifically to meet the needs of those planning to take advantage of it.

Richard (pictured, right) backed 5G technology to have a huge impact on a wide number of industries, noting the ability to process data faster; slice the network into specific segments; and improve reliability as factors.

“On production lines and connected vehicles the smallest outage can have a huge impact,” he added, noting 5G would also provide positive environmental effects on resource management.

Rollout plan
Orange plans to launch limited 5G services in a “non-commercial way” by the end of this year.

“Rolling out 5G in full will take time,” Richard said. “The spectrum auction will take place, then initial B2B uses, then it will become into general use for the general public.”