Spanish operator Telefonica has already activated its 5G network in 640 towns and cities across the country, local newspaper El Espanol reported, citing the telco’s CTO, Enrique Blanco.
According to the report, Telefonica already provides its 5G service to approximately 42% of the Spanish population. The telco previously said it aims to cover 75% of the population with the new technology by the end of 2020.
In September, the Spanish telco announced the launch of non-standalone (NSA) 5G commercial services in the country. Telefonica’s initial 5G deployment phase included 150 cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants, almost all the cities with 30,000, more than 50% of those with 20,000 inhabitants and some with more than 10,000 inhabitants.
The telco 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 2021.
The telco had previously inked commercial deals with Nordic vendors Nokia and Ericsson to supply the equipment and services for its 5G launch.
According to the report, Telefonica is initially deploying gear from Ericsson to provide 5G in its main urban areas while Nokia’s equipment will be used for the deployment of 5G in an upcoming phase of the 5G deployment plan. The operator also selected solutions from Juniper Networks for the security of its 5G network infrastructure.
Telefónica previously said that it had initially launched 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 telco’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.
Orange launched 5G services in Madrid and Barcelona in September 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.
Also in September, Masmovil 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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