Free Mobile announces changes in its use of a 5G band, called core band. Roughly, this evolution on the “real 5G” will make it possible to deliver more bandwidth.
This is very good news for Free Mobile customers, at least for those who are close to compatible relay antennas. On May 18, 2022, the operator announced an improvement in speeds in 5G. The qualitative leap is not insignificant: it reaches up to 14% more in certain circumstances, explains the group on Twitter on an account dedicated to the news of its network.
” We have evolved the spectrum from 60 to 70 MHz for the 3.5 GHz frequencies. The operation is now complete across the entire territory, and provides 14% additional speeds on 5G », read in the message. For those who are not very familiar with the operation of 5G, the subject may seem somewhat obscure.
The key 5G band
The 3.5 GHz band is described as the core band of 5G in France. It is the one that has the most balanced characteristics (in terms of speed, range or penetration into buildings) compared to other frequencies that are also used, such as the 700 MHz, 1,800 MHz and 2 bands, 1 GHz (as well as future bands, planned in a few years).
This core band is sometimes called “true 5G” for these reasons, because the other bands are more unbalanced: so in the case of the other three bands, the fact is that the “lower” they are in the spectrum, the more they carry far. But conversely, the lower their throughput will be.
The term “real 5G” is sometimes decried, because it suggests that there would also be fake 5G. If we stick only to the question of speeds, it is true that the 3.5 GHz band is more interesting and closer to what is expected of 5G: higher speeds than those of 4G . This is above all why mobile users take it.
Free started its efforts on an annex band
Free currently focuses on two bands: the 700 MHz band, with approximately 14,800 operational sites in mainland France, according to the observatory of the National Frequency Agency of May 2022. There is also the 3.5 GHz band, with just over 3,100 active sites. The group ignores the 1800 MHz and 2.1 GHz bands.
It turns out that Free first started its 5G deployment strategy by focusing on the 700 MHz band, which is a secondary band compared to the band-heart. In doing so, the operator was very quickly able to claim to have very good coverage of the territory with 5G, superior to that of its competitors, but with unspectacular speeds.
Free Mobile is therefore already using the 3.5 GHz band, but it is announced here that it will now use it more extensively, since the portion mobilized is wider: it is no longer just 60 megahertz that will carry the signal of group customers, but 70 megahertz. Hence the increase in speeds announced by Free Mobile.
As part of the allocation of 5G frequency blocks for the 3.5 GHz band, Free Mobile had landed a total lot of 70 MHz (which it is therefore fully utilizing, according to the tweet). An equivalent lot was won by Bouygues Telecom. SFR is a little better off, with 80 MHz. As for Orange, it got 90 MHz. Clearly, the latter two potentially have more bandwidth.
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Free Mobile makes better use of “real 5G” to deliver better speed
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