Spanish operator Orange is already offering 5G services in 298 towns and cities in 38 provinces across the country, the telco said in a statement.
According to the telco, 5G coverage already reaches 23% of the Spanish population.
Orange said it expects its 5G network to reach 90% of the population by 2022, according to a previous press report.
Orange is aiming to offer this technology in 400 cities by the end of the year, which is equivalent to a population coverage of over 51%, through a combination of non-standalone (NSA) 5G and Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) technologies.
Some of the cities covered by Orange’s NSA 5G network include Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Malaga, Cadiz, Ibiza, Zaragoza, Logroño, Leon, Santander, Salamanca, Valladolid and Pamplona.
The operator launched commercial 5G services in Spain in September of 2020, using equipment provided by Swedish vendor Ericsson.
The European carrier is currently offering 5G through spectrum in the 3.6-3.8 MHz band.
Orange initially launched 5G technology in Madrid and Barcelona with the deployment of Ericsson’s 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) and core products and solutions. Operating on 3.6 GHz 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.
Ericsson also supplied Orange Spain with a 5G Evolved Packet Core to support 5G New Radio non-standalone (NSA), including control plane, user plane and policy network functions.
Orange said it would launch 5G through the standalone (SA) architecture once the Spanish government makes available spectrum in the 700 MHz band, which is expected to occur in 2021.
Last month, Orange and Telefónica secured additional airwaves in the 3.5 GHz band, after they paid the starting price of 21 million euros ($25.67 million) for a 10-megahertz block.
Following this recent tender, Orange now holds 110 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band.
Spain’s largest telco Telefonica’s 5G network already reaches 80% of the country’s population, according to recent Spanish press reports. The operator’s goal was to provide 5G coverage to 75% of the Spanish population by the end of 2020.
Telefonica currently offers 5G connectivity in nearly 1,300 towns and cities across the Spain.
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.
The telco’s 5G network currently reaches 21 cities across the country.
Meanwhile, Masmovil launched 5G last year and the telco’s network currently provides this technology in 19 Spanish cities.