Vodafone Launches 5G Trials in Six Spanish Cities
The European telco secured 90 megahertz of 5G spectrum in the recent tender
Vodafone Spain has announced the launch of 5G trials in the cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, Malaga and Seville. The announcement follows the recent acquisition of 90 megahertz of spectrum in the the 3.6-3.8 GHz band. Vodafone had paid EUR 198 million ($ 232 million) for the 5G spectrum.
The Spanish telco said it will be using the recently acquired spectrum for the pre-commercial 5G non-standalone (NSA) tests.
Vodafone Spain also said it has already installed more than 30 antennas in collaboration with Chinese vendor Huawei in the six selected cities.
Last week, the Spanish government said it had raised a total of EUR 438 million for the sale of 5G frequencies. The government auctioned spectrum in the 3.6G HZ-3.8 GHz range, which will be key for the launch of commercial 5G services in the country. The government had set a reserve price of EUR 100 million for the 5G spectrum.
Rival operator Orange acquired a total of 60 megahertz of spectrum for EUR 132 million. The operator already holds 40 megahertz in this band.
Telefonica, which operates in the mobile segment through its Movistar brand, purchased 50 megahertz of spectrum for EUR 107 million. The company already had 40 megahertz in the 3.5GH band.
Masmovil also took part in the auction but did not acquire spectrum in the process. Masmovil had recently agreed to pay EUR 30 million to acquire 40 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band from Spanish satellite broadband operator Eurona, which it will use to provide its future 5G services. The company said it owns 80 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band following this recent acquisition.
Last year, Vodafone Spain had launched its NB-IoT network across Spain. The network is commercially available in a number of cities including Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, Bilbao, Málaga Zaragoza, Santander and Seville.
The NB-IoT network was deployed within existing 800 MHz spectrum, with the telco only needing to make software updates in existing base stations in order to launch the technology. The telco previously announced that the system would be used to connect various different product categories, including gas and water meters, smart bins, fire alarms, parking meters, lighting and other types of sensors.
In June 2016, Vodafone completed a NB-IoT customer trial with Spanish water company Aguas de Valencia. In October, the telco said completed what it claimed to be the world’s first test of a NB-IoT connected product on a commercial network using a parking sensor buried in a space within the Vodafone Plaza in Madrid.