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All about 4G mobile coverage and the network of operators

Before choosing your new phone package, there are several criteria to take into account. Among them, we find the essential services, the price but also the network coverage of its operator. Indeed, it is of great importance. Depending on your location, the latter can change: 5g, 4g, 3g or in the worst case, 2G. The network has a direct influence on the use of its smartphone. If wifi is not activated, it is necessary to count on the quality of the network. If it is not optimal, the different web navigations or on social networks, for example, will be highly slowed down. By following the steps of this guide, you will be able to check the quality of the network in your region, before the purchase of your mobile package.

Operator network coverage: how to have access to it ?

There are many operators in the sector, and there is not a single network coverage. Each of them holds its own network, with its quality and its individual performance. This is a detail that is of great importance. Before subscribing to a new phone package, it is important to check what is the best coverage in your sector: Orange, Bouygues Telecom, SFR, Free Mobile ? To obtain this precious information, we detail, in this practical guide, the different access methods. Whether for personal or professional needs, you will be satisfied with your network coverage at any time !

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The best mobile packages of the moment

Before choosing your new phone package, there are several criteria to take into account. Among them, we find the essential services, the price but also the network coverage of its operator. Indeed, it is of great importance. Depending on your location, the latter can change: 5g, 4g, 3g or in the worst case, 2G. The network has a direct influence on the use of its smartphone. If wifi is not activated, it is necessary to count on the quality of the network. If it is not optimal, the different web navigations or on social networks, for example, will be highly slowed down. By following the steps of this guide, you will be able to check the quality of the network in your region, before the purchase of your mobile package.

Operators: all equal in mobile networks ?

You are aware that mobile operators are very numerous on the market. There are dozens and dozens. Each of them has its own network, deployed throughout French territory. They therefore not all hold the same reception quality. And this also changes according to the regions.

For MVNOs (Virtual Mobile Network Operator), this is a little different. They do not hold their own networks but use those of historical operators. For example, Red by SFR uses the SFR network; NRJ Mobile navigates that of Bouygues Telecom.

Before subscribing to your new phone package, do not hesitate to test the coverage of your next operator. This can avoid unpleasant surprises and be able to fully enjoy your services.

Currently, the generalized broadband network in France is 4G and 4G+. Regarding 5G, it is being deployed throughout the territory. Some cities can already benefit from it when others will still have to wait. However, there are also sectors where only 3G is available, or even 2G.

To summarize, depending on your operator and your region, you will not benefit from the same network quality. By checking this data upstream of your subscription, you will be able to subscribe to an adequate package to your daily needs but also to the network coverage available at home. This will not be of any use to you to subscribe to a 5G package, if only 4G or 3G are available in your sector.

How to obtain the network coverage of his operator ?

To obtain the network coverage of its operator, there are several different methods.

Since 2017, the Arcep (the regulatory authority for electronic communications, positions) has required operators to communicate on the quality of their networks throughout the territory via a mobile coverage card. Divided into four levels of evaluation (“very good coverage”, “good coverage”, “limited coverage” or “no coverage”), it allows users to obtain precise information on the quality of operators’ networks. These are the calls and SMS covers.

On this same site, it is possible to obtain the 3G and 4G internet covers of operators. On the 3G side, this card will specify if the 3G coverage is present, if it is bridled at 1 Mbit/s or if there is no coverage. For 4G, it specifies “only” whether there is a presence or not of a 4G coverage. To get this information, just go to the Monreseaumobile site.fr and enter the name of his city or street into the search engine available.

The deployment of 5G is also available ! This information is divided into three categories: 5G transmitters in 700 MHz, 2100 MHz or 3.5 GHz. It is updated as it is available in France.

– Thanks to operators’ sites

Operators provide a lot of useful information before subscribing to a new package, directly on their website. Their network coverage is one of them. All operators on the market have a dedicated page on its website, detailing its 3G, 4G and 5G networks if already available. The principle is the same as on the site provided by ARCEP: this is a map of France where you can enter your address to find out the type of network to which you can benefit. Whether it’s orange, bouygues telecom or SFR, you can easily get this information.

– Thanks to specialized sites

Internet is full of information ! During the generalization of operators networks, some websites have specialized in this field, like coverage.Fr. Again, the principle is simple: a map of France, where it is possible to enter your postal address. Once the coordinates have entered, just click on the color buttons that are displayed on the card (orange = orange, red = SFR, blue = bouygues telecom and gray = free mobile). A page opens by giving all the necessary information: the type of network received, the activation of its antenna as well as the latest modifications made. The card is clear and the use easy to be understandable for everyone.

Which operator has the best network coverage ?

Each year, ARCEP implements monitoring on the performance and quality of the networks of the four historic operators: SFR, Bouygues Telecom, Orange and Free Mobile. This allows you to have an idea of ​​everyone’s results.

This year, the one who arrives again in the lead is orange. It is followed closely by Bouygues Telecom, SFR then Free Mobile in fourth position. The operator does not have to be ashamed of his last place: arrived last on the market, it necessarily takes time to put himself at the same level as these competitors.

This information is to be put into perspective and is only as an indication. Operators make changes constantly, such as the deployment of 5G for example. This may have an impact on the results. Likewise, an operator not very present in a rural environment can obtain very good performances in another sector. It is important to check the network coverage in the places in which you are used to going (such as your home or your work), before subscribing to one operator rather than another.

All about 4G mobile coverage and the network of operators

Although the 4G network is very widespread, not everyone can benefit from it. There 4G cover of the entire French territory is far from uniform. There are areas that capture better than others. Before subscribing to a subscription and to avoid a possible disappointment on the effective internet speed acquired, it is preferable to assess the quality of the network in your region. ARCEP (regulatory authority for electronic communications and posts) provides a new practical tool intended for this purpose. Nevertheless, each operator invests more every day to extend their coverage. They announce specific objectives to be achieved over a given period.

Test online your 4G coverage at your address

4G in France: a coverage not yet total

Currently, the 4G coverage of France is 98 % of the population. This does not mean that everyone accesses this high speed. To have a signal, you need a nearby branch. The more the mobile device moves away from a base station, the more the network weakens. Concretely, 40 m away, the power of the electromagnetic field emitted by the antenna is 4 times less than 20 m. In addition, a relay antenna has a limited capacity. It can only deal with a limited number of simultaneous calls, about sixty. In a densely inhabited region, several relay antennas are needed to ensure excellent communication quality.

It must also be said that certain physical elements can block the signal. The quality of the network inside a building is not necessarily the same as outside. Also, in an area with excellent coverage, it is possible to have no bar on your phone. When you are in an elevator for example, or in a cellar.

Given this data, the ARCEP has established four levels of evaluation of the quality of mobile coverage:

  • Very good coverage means that you should rarely encounter network problems by calling or exchanging SMS in buildings;
  • Good coverage means that you can call and exchange SMS outside the buildings are possible. In some cases, this may also be possible even by being inside;
  • Limited coverage means that telephone calls and uncovered SMS exchanges pose no concern in most cases. On the other hand, they are unlikely inside the buildings;
  • No coverage obviously means that the establishment of a communication is impossible.

Evaluate the coverage of your region: the mobile network test

There are currently several means put in place so that the consumer can assess the mobile coverage of a given region. The most important thing is first to know whether the place is qualified as a white area or not. Then, it is necessary to identify the operators who serve the area. Finally, it is important to define the quality of the coverage and the type of network available, to know if it is a 4G region or not. To do this use our 4G – 5G mobile coverage test by entering the name of your city.

By decree, mobile operators are required to provide their customers with information on the quality of the network. They then provide cover cards based on the location and power power of their relay antennas. These cards are based on theoretical data and do not take into account the realities on the ground.

ARCEP wishes to inform users of the quality of service to which they can expect. Thus, the price is not the only factor taken into account at the time of subscriptions. The organization often launches network test campaigns, both on the voice and SMS service and on the Internet debit. With the data collected, he developed the Monreseaumobile tool.Fr. The latter gives the level of 3G coverage and the level of 4G coverage of France. It provides a card displaying this global information and by mobile operator. The maps of 4G regions And 3G thus obtained are therefore more reliable than those provided on the websites of Bouygues, Orange, Free or SFR.

The use of the tool is very simple. First, you will have to choose if you want to know the simulated coverage or the measured quality. Then opt for the evaluation of the voice and SMS service or the mobile internet. You must zoom in on the desired location to have a global card. You can filter by operator by checking the one you prefer. Regarding Internet access, if there are only the covered and not covered mentions, the Voix and SMS services are indicated at different levels of coverage.

4G coverage card in France

Orange 4G cover

Regarding the card of the 4G cover Orange, The relay antennas are placed on most of the territory. From a global point of view, the cover of the western and northwest regions (Côtes-d’Armor, Ille-et-Vilaine, Loire-Atlantique …) is almost total. The network 4G orange is not very widespread in the South East and the neighboring region of Italy. A large area between the Ardennes, the Marne and the Meuse does not yet have access to mobile broadband.

Bouygues 4G cover

On the cover card 4G Bouygues, The red zones indicating access to this network are slightly sparse than those of Orange. The trend remains the same. Indeed, the regions to the west and north have a larger density of more than the southeast regions. A large part of Lozère and Aveyron appears in white on this map. This means that the probabilities of exchanging 4G data are very low, whether inside or outside the buildings.

SFR 4G cover

Looking at the cover card 4G SFR, We can see that the trend is the same as for its 2 previous competing operators. North of Vendée, Maine-et-Loire and Sarthe, the regions have almost complete coverage. This density clears up towards Cantal, Lozère and the Alps.

4G free cover

Even if all regions of France have relay antennas for the 4G Free, The 4G coverage card of this operator shows many white areas. This is the case, for example, of a large part of the Landes, the Pyrénées-Orientales, the Cher and many others.

What evolution of the mobile network with the arrival of 5G ?

The deployment of 5G in France has already started, with the installation of the first SFR, Free, Orange and Bouygues antennas. Pilot cities have been appointed by Arcep to test the new technology, it is Marseille, Nantes, Toulouse, and Ile-de-France.

Telephony operators will release their 5G packages offer by the end of 2020, users of the regions concerned will then be able to benefit from this new mobile network, in reserving to equip themselves with a compatible phone. The rest of the population will continue on the 4G network.

For further !

white areas

There are still places in France where telephone and internet operators are not present. These “White areas” can nevertheless benefit from other solutions than ADSL to connect to the Internet.