Spanish operator Orange ended September with over 620,000 subscribers in the 5G segment, local newspaper El Espanol reported.
This figure represents 3.8% of the company’s overall mobile base, which currently reaches 16.29 million.
According to the report, the telco aims to continue expanding its 5G network infrastructure across Spain and expects this technology to be one of the company’s main growth areas next year.
Orange Spain had initially launched 5G services in September 2020 using equipment from Ericsson.
The telco said that it has been having a good commercial performance due to the sales of 5G compatible devices in recent months. In fact, in the third quarter of 2021, 39% of the smartphones sold by the company were 5G-capable.
At the press conference presenting the results, Diego Martinez, CEO of the residential business unit at Orange, stressed that all these data anticipate a good performance over the coming months and throughout 2022.
In terms of 5G network coverage, Orange said it had already exceeded its goal of reaching coverage of more than 50% of the population before the end of 2021.
Specifically, at the end of September, 51.2% of the Spanish population had access to Orange Spain’s 5G mobile network, which now reaches 778 municipalities in 38 Spanish provinces .
The general director of Orange Spain’s network, Mónica Sala, said that the telco expects to close the year 2021 with a coverage of 57%.
Regarding the future deployment of 5G Standalone (SA), Sala said that the technical teams are working “intensely” on it.
“It has to be launched at the right time, when we know that it is a totally safe technology and that we can offer the best service to customers,” Sala said.
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 European carrier had initially launched 5G through spectrum in the 3.6-3.8 MHz band. In the July spectrum auction, the telco also secured spectrum in the 700MHz band for the provision of 5G
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.