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Dissent at Heart of Telecom Industry Undermines France’s 5G Push

  • A group of employees posted memos challenging 5G technology
  • Orange probed document leak, employees amid anti-5G activism

Photographer: Eric Piermont/AFP via Getty Images

A quarrel has emerged inside France’s biggest phone company over whether to build a new generation of wireless networks, days before the industry is due to commit billions of euros to their deployment in the country.

A group of employees of Orange SA called repeatedly for management to scrap the rollout of 5G services in memos circulated to colleagues on the Plazza social media platform. The memos, issued in October 2019 and in May of this year, said the technology will be unprofitable and will damage the environment, according to three people familiar with their content.