Telefonica unveiled plans to cover 75 per cent of Spain’s population with its 5G network by the end of the year, as it launched the service almost 15 months after rival Vodafone’s local unit.
In a statement Telefonica CEO Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete described the launch as a “a leap forward towards the hyperconnectivity that will change the future of Spain”.
Initially the service is available to select areas of “all the autonomous communities,” the operator noted, without breaking out full details.
Telefonica said its strategy was to bring 5G to the highest number of people at the outset by using technologies including dynamic spectrum sharing.
In addition to consumer advantages, Alvarez-Pallete pointed to uses in remote surgery, autonomous vehicles and smart energy management.
Vodafone Spain launched 5G in 15 cities in June 2019: by July 2020 it had extended availbility to 21 cities, with more than half of the population of these areas covered.
Spanish business newspaper Expansion stated Orange Spain is preparing to launch 5G next week.
The country’s other operator MasMovil is expected to launch shortly afterwards, thanks to an access deal with Orange inked in 2019.
Spain completed its first 5G auction in July 2018. In March, the country put the auction of allocations in the 700MHz band on hold due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.