Some targeted markets include Belgium, France, Poland and Spain

French telecom group Orange said it aims to launch 5G technology in 17 major European cities across Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania and Spain during 2019.

The telco said that these initial launches will pave the way for the company’s full-scale commercial launch of this technology, which is scheduled to take place during 2020.

At the firm’s annual Hello Show in Paris this week, Orange’s CEO Stephane Richard said customers in those cities would be able to experience 5G services in 2019. The executive highlighted that initial services will mainly target enterprise customers. Richard also said that Orange will organize a forum with industrial partners and startups next year analyse potential 5G use cases for businesses.

Orange Spain will deploy 5G networks in “three or four” Spanish cities in 2019 to pave the way for the commercial launch in 2020.

Orange’s Innovation Director, Bertrand Rojat, told Europa Press that the company aims to launch 5G in three or four Spanish cities next year.

Orange Spain has been testing 5G technology in seven cities in the country including Barcelona, Sevilla, Santiago, Vigo, Malaga, Valencia and Bilbao

Earlier this year, Orange had announced plans to extend 5G tests to greater Paris area and Île-de-France. The telco named Paris, Châtillon and Linas-Montlhéry as the next zones to host Orange’s new 5G tests.

In Paris, Orange expects to introduce a platform designed for 5G demonstrations in the Opéra district where its Orange Opéra megastore is located. This 5G test will take place next year, the telco said.

In the coming months, Orange will offer its partners the chance to test innovative products and services in a 5G laboratory at its Orange Gardens site in Châtillon. The telco said that this facility will offer a very low-latency connection with speeds faster than those available via 4G. These tests will focus in particular on 5G services for the general public, such as virtual reality and augmented reality, communications in an immersive environment and 4K/8K video. 5G services for companies will continue to be addressed in co-innovation projects at the dedicated Paris-Saclay platform, Orange said.

Telia launches 5G test network in Oslo

In other 5G news, Nordic telco Telia announced the launch of a 5G test network in Norway’s capital Oslo.

The telco said that 5G services are being currently tested at the Odeon cinema, Norway’s largest cinema.

“We have been working for some time on 5G across the Telia countries, both in the Nordic and Baltic countries. Now 5G comes to Norway, and we look forward to exploring the opportunities. 5G will enable innovation, new ecosystems and fantastic services not only for consumers, but also for digitalizing entire industries,” said Abraham Foss, Managing Director of Telia Norway.

In 2019, films will be downloaded via Telia’s 5G network. In addition, visitors at the cinema can use a 5G WiFi zone from Telia.

Telia had launched a pre-commercial 5G network in Helsinki, Finland in early September. In November, the company launched 5G in the city of Oulu. In Oulu, Telia aims to create a 5G ecosystem in the Nuottasaari industrial area, allowing industrial companies and logistics operators in the area to develop new digital operating models via 5G technology.

Last week, Telia also launched a 5G network at Helsinki Airport in Finland in partnership with airport operator Finavia. The telco said that Finavia will be its first customer to use the pre-commercial 5G network in Finland, to support a 5G-enabled robot.

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