Telefónica Spain turns on 5G, promises service to 75% of population this year

News

Telefónica's Executive Chairman José María Álvarez-Pallete promises “outstanding hyperconnectivity in European terms from combining 5G and fibre".

The announcement was made by Álvarez-Pallete, who stressed that “the launch of our 5G network constitutes a leap forward towards the hyperconnectivity that will change the future of Spain”.

Spain has Europe’s largest fibre network.

Cross-cutting benefits

Telefónica will offer 5G to individuals and corporate customers and “is committed to the numerous direct and indirect cross-cutting benefits that 5G brings to key sectors such as transport, tourism, energy, the car industry and healthcare,” according to statement.

“Spain will reap great benefits. 5G constitutes not only a new generation of mobile telephony, it’s also a revolution in terms of its practical applications for all the sectors and because it allows the extension of ultra-broadband coverage to rural areas, many of them depopulated”, stressed Álvarez-Pallete.

He also said that Spain is well positioned to lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution and “to capitalise on Europe’s outstretched hand in the reconstruction process”.

Technology 

The first phase of 5G deployment will combine NSA (non-standalone) 5G and DSS (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing) and SA (standalone) 5G tech when standardisation is complete.

This initial deployment will use current sites and infrastructure, complemented by new base stations and small cells as the capacity and coverage require in the longer term.

Spectrum 

The 5G will run on 3.5 GHz band frequency (the only 5G band frequency licensed to operators so far) and the mid-band (1800-2100 MHz) frequencies, used by 4G.

This is to capitalise on the possibility of using NR equipment that can operate with 4G and 5G at the same time.

The new deployments will take place in parallel with the phased shut-down of 2G and 3G networks.

Álvarez-Pallete has pledged that the copper network will be replaced by fibre by 2025, when the 3G network will final close to better manage network investment.