Telefonica’s 5G Network Reaches 450 Spanish Cities: Report


By Juan Pedro Tomás

Spanish operator Telefonica has switched on its 5G network in all of Spain’s 50 provincial capitals, as well as in 400 other localities across the country, just sox weeks after announcing the launch of non-standalone (NSA) 5G commercial services local newspaper Cinco Dias reported.

According to the report, Telefonica already provides its 5G service to approximately 40 per cent of the Spanish population. The telco previously said it aims to cover 75 per cent of the population with the new technology by the end of the year.

The carrier is offering its 5G service through spectrum in the 3.5 GHz and 1.8-2.1 GHz bands. The Spanish government expects to award spectrum in the 700 MHz band for the provision of 5G in the first quarter of next year.

The telco had previously inked commercial deals with Nordic vendors Nokia and Ericsson to supply the equipment and services for its 5G launch.

Nokia is supplying its AirScale Radio Access portfolio and is also supporting Telefónica with the development of its 5G network in different areas, including IP network, optical transport and fiber.

Meanwhile, Ericsson is providing new 3.5 GHz radio equipment and software upgrades to 5G-ready Ericsson radios in Telefónica’s network.

Telefónica said that it is initially launching 5G services thanks to a technology that combines the deployment of NSA (non-standalone) 5G and DSS (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing). Telefonica said it will launch a standalone (SA) 5G network across Spain once the technology becomes “fully available” after standardization.

The carrier’s initial deployment will also make use of current sites and infrastructure and, in the mid- and long term, will be complemented by new base stations and small cells according to capacity and coverage requirements, the telco said.

Rival operator Vodafone launched Spain’s first commercial 5G network in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Malaga, Zaragoza, Bilbao, Vitoria, San Sebastian, La Coruna, Vigo, Gijon, Pamplona, Logrono and Santander in June 2019. The carrier had previously said that it was working with Huawei and Ericsson in the deployment of the 5G network.

As of the end of May, Vodafone Spain had activated its 5G network in a total of 21 cities across the country using its spectrum in the 3.5GHz band.

Orange launched 5G services in Madrid and Barcelona last month using equipment from Ericsson. Operating on 3.6GHz spectrum, the 5G network in Madrid and Barcelona is powered by the Ericsson Radio System (Baseband 6648 and AIR 6488 antenna), delivering massive multiple-input multiple-output, which increases network capacity and spectral efficiency.

Meanwhile, Masmovil recently launched its 5G service in 15 cities across Spain for the customers of its Yoigo brand. The carrier said that the 5G service is being offered via a combination of own infrastructure and an agreement with rival operator Orange.

Initially, Masmovil will offer 5G connectivity in Alicante, Alcobendas, Almería, Ávila, Barcelona, Hospitalet de Llobregat, Huesca, Jaén, Madrid, Málaga, Melilla, Orense, Salamanca, Sevilla and Valencia.

In a future phase, Masmovil aims to launch its own 5G SA network with 80 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.4-3.8 GHz band.

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