French telecom group Orange has chosen Romania as the first country to launch commercial 5G services. The 5G services are available starting Tuesday, November 5, to Orange Romania clients in Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca and Iasi, the company announced in a press release. The Orange 5G network allows clients to download data from the internet to compatible mobile devices at speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps.
"We have chosen Romania because it is sort of a Silicon Valley in Central and Eastern Europe, with an IT&C sector that represents almost 6% of the country's GDP, and because we have a radio specter double compared to our local competitors," said Ramon Fernandez, deputy general manager of Orange Group at a press conference in Bucharest, according to Profit.ro. He added that the group has invested EUR 3.5 billion so far in Romania.
The Orange 5G services are available as part of a EUR 25 monthly subscription that offers unlimited data transfer. However, clients also need 5G compatible devices and Orange proposes them the Samsung Galaxy S10 in monthly installments of EUR 47 for a period of two years.
Orange has also launched in Romania the Number Share service, which allows clients to use the same mobile number on several connected devices. This feature allows users to talk, text and get emails and notifications on whatever device is at hand, even when they are away from their mobile phone.
“By launching 5G today, we are making an important step towards the next generation of mobile networks and services of the future. The Orange 5G commercial network is the result of a series of tests conducted with strategic partners, as well as of the constant investments made by Orange Romania in infrastructure. Thus, we offer our customers the highest 5G speed in Romania and, exclusively, top services - Number Share, eSIM and HD Voice Plus, which bring a complete connectivity experience,” said Orange Romania CEO Liudmila Climoc.
Orange, the leader of the local telecom market by the number of users and revenues, is the third local operator to launch commercial 5G services. Competitors Vodafone Romania and Digi launched similar services in May and June. Vodafone’s 5G services are available in Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, and Mamaia while Digi launched in Bucharest and said it would expand the service to Constanta and Mamaia, Oradea, Cluj-Napoca, and Iasi.
The three telecom operators launched the 5G services using their existing network capabilities as the Romanian state has postponed the public tender for radio frequencies dedicated to 5G services until next year thus delaying a countrywide deployment of this technology. Moreover, there are still uncertainties related to how much the state wants to ask operators to pay for the 5G licenses and the requirements for developing the 5G networks after Romania signed a memorandum in this sense with the U.S.
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