Orange made a push around the economic benefits of 5G, announcing the launch of nine new laboratories in Europe in an initiative to help enterprises and authorities understand the opportunities offered by the technology.
In a statement, Orange said it would open seven 5G labs in France, all hosting companies including start-ups, SMEs and big enterprises regardless of sector, in addition to local authorities, to develop use cases. The first is located in the Paris region and opened today (3 February), with the plan to gradually open six more across other French towns.
A further two labs will also be rolled out in Europe. A site in Bucharest, Romania, will be used to foster development of commercial projects, research and innovation; and in the Port of Antwerp, Belgium, Orange will look to demonstrate a range of use cases already developed by industrial partners, such as the augmented worker and critical communications systems.
The labs will offers companies the chance to test their products and services in a 5G environment ahead of launch, using AR glasses, VR headsets, routers, 5G devices and modules, and access edge computing functionalities in some facilities.
Orange explained the programme will also look to provide insights and education on the technology through demonstrations.
The operator said it had conducted a study with GlobalWebIndex, which showed 72 per cent of companies said they expected their operator to provide support regarding 5G to test, experiment and develop solutions ahead of time.
“We believe that 5G will drive business competition and regional development. This is why Orange is involved in a co-innovation approach focused on 5G to create the uses of the future,” added Michael Trabbia, CTIO at the operator.