Orange said it expects its 5G network to reach 1,500 localities by the end of 2022
Spanish operator Orange ended the first quarter of the year with a total of 1.11 million 5G subscribers after adding 228,000 in the period, the telco said in a release.
According to the European operator, its 5G network infrastructure already reaches 60.4% of the Spanish population. Orange’s 5G network infrastructure currently reaches 881 municipalities across 38 provinces.
Orange had said it expects its 5G network to reach 1,500 localities by the end of this year.
Earlier this year, Orange announced its deployment of 5G in the 700 MHz band. The European carrier said it will offer this technology progressively over the course of 2022 in more than 1,100 towns and cities, 820 of them having between 1,000 and 50,000 citizens. Also, 140 towns with fewer than 1,000 citizens, in 30 provinces will benefit from the new technology, helping to reduce the digital divide. Additionally, Orange says it will deploy 5G using spectrum in the 700 MHz band in 140 cities with more than 50,000 citizens.
Orange said it is currently offering 5G technology via the 700 MHz band in 241 municipalities.
The telco also said it ended the first quarter with 10.70 million 4G subscribers, with an overall coverage of 98.5% of the country’s population.
Orange also reported that both 4G and 5G technologies currently represent 72% of the carrier’s overall subscriber base.
In the last spectrum auction, Orange secured 2×10 megahertz in the 700 MHz band, which adds to the 110 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band already owned by Orange.
The operator launched commercial 5G services in Spain in September of 2020, using equipment provided by Swedish vendor Ericsson. 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.
Orange Spain had initially launched 5G through spectrum in the 3.6-3.8 MHz band using a non-standalone architecture.
The European carrier had initially launched this technology through spectrum in the 3.6-3.8 MHz band using a non-standalone architecture. Orange said it would launch 5G through the standalone (SA) architecture once the Spanish government makes available spectrum in the 700 MHz band, which occurred in July 2021.
The Spanish government raised a total of 1.1 billion euros in the 700 MHz spectrum auction, with local operators Telefónica, Vodafone and Orange securing these key frequencies to expand 5G services.