Telefonica has launched its 5G network in Spain on Tuesday, promising to bring the high-speed mobile internet service to 75 percent of the population this year.
European telecoms operators are starting to roll out 5G to consumers and businesses, offering super-fast download speeds for smartphone users and supporting so-called smart devices and factories.
Telefonica president Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete said: Telefonica operates with the latest radio generations that allow dual 4G and 5G usage, with the aim of bringing 5G to the highest number of people from the outset.
Telefonica will buy some of the core equipment for its planned 5G mobile network in Spain from Chinese telecoms giant Huawei but also choose a second provider next year. It can be Nokia or Ericsson. Telefonica has not decided yet who will provide the rest of its kit, such as its 5G antennas in Spain.
5G network expansion
This first phase will witness the launch of the 5G network, thanks to a technology that combines the deployment of NSA (non-standalone) 5G and DSS (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing) and the subsequent deployment of the SA (standalone) 5G network when the technology becomes fully available after standardisation.
This initial deployment of Telefonica’s 5G network will make use of the current sites and infrastructure and, in the mid and long terms, it will be complemented by new base stations and small cells as the capacity and coverage require.
The 3.5 GHz band frequency (the only 5G band frequency already licensed to operators) and the mid-band (1800-2100 MHz) frequencies are being used for this purpose. This is the current location of 4G, capitalising on the possibility of using NR (New Radio) equipment that can operate with both technologies (4G and 5G) at the same time.
The new deployments will take place in tandem with a gradual shut-down of the old 2G and 3G networks. 100 percent of the copper network will be replaced by fibre by 2025, when the 3G network will also be shut down. This will permit more effective management of investments, as it won’t be necessary to increase them to address the new deployments, says Telefonica.