European telecom Orange will deploy nine 5G labs sites in France and abroad this year to support 5G testing.
The labs will create a local presence close to businesses — startups, SMEs and big corporations — to support the digital transformation of economic players and help these businesses take advantage of 5G’s potential. In France, seven sites will be deployed including in Châtillon and will gradually open in Lille, Lyon-Charbonnières, Marseille, Paris-La Défense, Rennes and Toulouse.
Certain labs will focus on a specific field such as the Lyon lab, located at the Campus Région du Numérique at Charbonnières-les-Bains, will be focused on Industry 4.0, and the Cœur Défense site in the Customer Innovation Centre will be more focused on Orange business services’ clients.
In the first half of the year, Orange will roll out 5G Labs in Bucharest, Romania, in partnership with the University of Politehnica of Bucharest and in Belgium, a lab will be deployed near the Orange Industry 4.0 campus in the Port of Antwerp.
Additionally, a 5G challenge for startups and developers will start in Spain this month to develop new applications for 5G.
The labs will include services such as a program to learn about 5G and its uses made possible through demonstrations and activities. The labs will also give companies an opportunity to test products and services in a 5G environment ahead of their deployment on a commercial network and under real conditions. Companies will also be able to rely on 5G equipment of the future such as augmented reality glasses, virtual reality headsets, routers, 5G devices and 5G modules.