Spanish operator Orange is already offering 5G services in 442 towns and cities in 48 provinces across the country, the carrier said in a statement.
According to the European operator, its 5G network infrastructure already reaches 28% of the Spanish population.
Orange had said it expects its 5G network to reach 50% of the population by the end of this year and 90% of the population by 2022.
Orange is currently offering 5G in the country 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, San Sebastian, Bilbado, Malaga, Cadiz, Ibiza, Zaragoza, Alicante, Murcia, Huelva, Logroño, Leon, Santander, Salamanca, Valladolid, Santiago de Compostela 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 this year.
Orange and Telefónica had recently 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.
In France, Orange has already activated 5G in 160 cities across the country, the operator’s CEO Stéphane Richard previously said in an interview with local newspaper Jornal du Dimanche. Some of the initial cities covered by Orange’s 5G network include Marseille, Nice, Le Mans and Angers.
The telco recently launched 5G in capital Paris following an agreement between local operators and the city’s municipal government.
Orange initially launched commercial 5G services in 15 municipalities at the beginning of December 2020.