4G is the latest technological breakthrough in digital mobile telephony, and one of the most significant to date. It makes it possible, under optimal conditions, to equip your smartphone or touch pad with a flow equivalent to that of the optical fiber!
After a slow start in France from the end of 2013, the fourth generation finally starting to spread beyond the city center of the largest cities of the country, enabling large operators like SFR, Numericable, Bouygues Telecom, Free and Orange to launch 4G formulas in a growing part of their clientele. However, the total coverage of the population is not expected until at best a decade.
4G: definition and main features
4G is the fourth generation of mobile technologies. It is based on the new standard”LTE” or Long Term Evolution, and direct successor to the 3G and 3G +, which were based on these standards UMTS and HSDPA .
Like 3G already represented, at the time, an increase in throughput compared to the first GSM on 2G devices, 4G is characterized by a very significant increase in the data rate, which can reach 150 Mb / s under certain conditions. In practice, however, the majority of French customers should expect to benefit from a rate of 20 Mb / sec. This value is certainly lower than the threshold of “very high speed” set at 30 Mb / s by theARCEP , but is about ten times higher than rates recorded in 3G (2 Mb / s in the best case).
To achieve this level of performance, 4G uses strips of high specific frequenciesthat vary operators and geographical areas. In France, the frequency used was initially set at 2600 MHz in October 2011. Another band around 800 MHz was then given to operators by ARCEP in December 2011, following the television station radio. Note finally that Bouygues Telecom was authorized by the same regulatory authority in 2013 to issue 4G on a frequency of 1 800 MHz, its own.
A progressive deployment throughout the territory
Given the delays or delays experienced by the diffusion of 3G or, in the area of the fixed Internet, the optical fiber connected to the home (FTTH), ARCEP has been very specific about the timing of deployment of 4G in the country.
A “priority deployment zone’, consisting of the least populated regions (63% of the territory but only 18% of the population) in particular has been defined in consultation with operators. This area should be covered at least 40% before 17 January 2017 and 90% before 17 January 2022. The metropolitan area as a whole will in turn be covered at 25% as of October 2015 and 60% four years later in 2019. a national dissemination of 4G over 98% of the territory is, in any case, not expected before January 2024!