Almost 80% of the mobile network infrastructure in France had switched to 4G by the end of 2020 in areas that still did not have access to it three years earlier, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Arcep) announced on Thursday, surpassing the target set for operators. The “New Deal Mobile”, an agreement signed in January 2018 between the government, Arcep and the operators, aims to reduce by 2022 in France the “white areas-urban centers”, that is, the territories not covered by the networks latest generation mobiles. Under this agreement, operators were required to equip 75% of their existing mobile sites located in these areas with 4G in these areas as of December 31, 2020. In total, 2,148 mobile sites have been switched to 4G in these territories, which which corresponds in March 2021 “to 82% of all sites that will be migrated by the end of 2022”, announced the French Telecommunications Federation, the association that groups together the players in the sector. “In four months we have built and activated 300 new pylons, the pace is accelerating despite a complicated health context,” its president, Nicolás Guérin, was quoted as saying in a press release. “We are taking a considerable step. It always takes a little time but we are making progress”, declared this Thursday the Secretary of State for Digital, Cédric O, at the opening of the annual conference dedicated to “connected territories”. Excluding “white areas-urban centers”, between 97% and 99% of mobile network infrastructures are equipped with 4G by operators, according to the latest Arcep quarterly report.
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