With French 5G set to begin in earnest very soon, Bouygues Telecom and IBM are keen to leverage the power of 5G across various sectors

Back in October, France finally completed its long-awaited 5G spectrum auction, giving the nation’s operators the spectrum they needed to begin the commercial launches of the new technology. 
For Bouygues Telecom, who obtained 70 MHz of spectrum in the auction, this launch is just around the corner, now scheduled for December.
But Bouygues Telecom is not just targeting mobile customers for the new technology. Instead, the company is keen to stress the transformative power 5G can have on businesses across the company. To this end, the operator is partnering with tech giant IBM to explore 5G technological opportunities for the company’s enterprise customers. 
The two partners are working together to form the “Open 5G Lab”, a collaborative process combining Bouygues’ telco experience with IBM’s technical knowledge surrounding emerging technologies, such as the IoT and edge computing. 
The Open Lab 5G will reportedly focus on creating new 5G use cases for sectors including manufacturing, transport, health, energy and utilities and retail. Then, these solutions will be tested on 5G-enabled test sites for clients, before being evaluated and ultimately implemented.
"Networks are key to the digitalization of businesses and the contributions of 5G will be considerable. It is therefore important for our customers to be able to start now to assess the tangible benefits of 5G, which will promote their own competitiveness. This is the spirit of the approach we are putting in place with IBM to support our customers," said Bouygues Telecom’s Managing Director, B2B Branch, François Treuil.
It should be noted here that Bouygues Telecom are not alone in reaching out to tech partners to develop industrial solutions. Orange, for example, has recently began working with electronics manufacturer Lacroix to build a prototype smart factory.
Operators are quickly coming to terms with the fact that 5G’s greatest impact will be for industry, thus they will be forced to tread new ground in the form of diverse partnerships with players beyond their traditional focus. This is a goal they will struggle to achieve alone, thus partners with tech specialists like IBM represent the first step in this journey of telecoms industry evolution.
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