Responding to the criticisms, Stéphane Richard ensures that exposure to waves is no different with 5G and that it allows an energy gain compared to 4G.

“We are not going to force the French, and mayors in particular, to accept something they don’t want”, assured Stéphane Richard, the CEO of Orange, on Thursday July 2 on Franceinfo, about the deployment of 5G in France which arouses hostility in part of the opinion. But “there is no reason to believe that 5G, from the point of view of exposure to electromagnetic waves, is different from 4G”, he said. Responding to environmentalists’ criticisms, Stéphane Richard affirmed that “5G, in relation to climate change, is much more a solution than a problem”.

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Asked about the economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis and the job cuts of certain companies, the CEO of Orange announced the hiring of 2,000 apprentices in September.

Do you hear the concerns of mayors and the Citizen Climate Convention asking for a moratorium?

Of course, I hear them. I don’t hear them in France for that matter, because it’s a little European music. In the United States, we have already started the deployment of 5G for a while, in Asia as well. But it is true that in Europe there are questions. There may be fears. There is a lot of fake news too, which bothers me personally. It is clear that this debate is badly started because it is engaged on conspiracy theories. And we, what we would like, of course, is to hear these questions, but at the same time, try to pose an objective debate based on facts, so as to make responsible decisions.

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The National Health Security Agency (ANSES) was responsible for investigating the effects of 5G on health. It will not report its findings until early next year. In the meantime, should the precautionary principle be applied?

The calendar before us is first of all the allocation of frequencies with auctions scheduled for the end of September. We consider that these auctions should be held because frequencies are the raw material of the industry. Anyway, we will need it. But the physical deployment of 5G, in fact, is not going to start until the very end of the year or the beginning of the year 2021. If it was absolutely necessary to take a few more weeks for us to have this ANSES work before starting the physical deployment, perhaps it should be considered. I am not focused on this.

I think it is not a good thing to talk about a moratorium. Why ? Because the world is moving around us. 5G is first of all a capacity need because mobile networks are very much in demand. Stéphane Richard, CEO of Orangeat franceinfo

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We have a 40% increase in use each year. We need to have networks that allow them to be sold, and we need 5G first for this reason. And then, perhaps most importantly, 5G, in relation to the climate challenge, in relation to climate change, it is much more a solution than a problem.

However, Wednesday on France Inter, the national secretary of EELV, Julien Bayou, affirmed that 5G would be particularly greedy in energy …

I totally disagree with this. If you consider the energy footprint of 5G compared to the volume of data that is transported on the network, compared to 4G, it is an efficiency gain by a factor of 10. 5G is 10 times more efficient energetically than 4G. Why ? Because it carries a lot more content with radio installations that are roughly comparable to 4G. If you relate the energy consumption of 5G to the gigabytes transported, you actually have an efficiency gain of about a factor of 10.

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If the mayor of a municipality opposes the installation of the antennas, will you force them to plant them?

Certainly not. These are not Orange values. What is certain is that we are not going to force the French, and the mayors in particular, to accept something they do not want. Me, what I want is that we take, once again, the time for explanation, transparency. We need to have this debate. There is no reason to believe that 5G, in terms of exposure to electromagnetic waves, is different from 4G. Besides, I would like to say here that there are 14 health authorities in the world who have already done the work expected from ANSES and who obviously concluded that there was absolutely no difference between 5G and previous standards.

Airbus, Air France, Renault … Many companies are announcing that they are cutting their workforce. Will that be the case for you too?

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No, we will recruit 2,000 apprentices in September, who are in the business today. We will give them a permanent contract. We are also going to open our apprenticeship training center, so we are not at all in this logic.

We are also in a sector which has rather shown its solidity and its usefulness in the crisis.Stéphane Richard

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