Orange said that 5G SA technology will be initially offered in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Seville
Spanish telecom operator Orange announced the activation of its 5G Standalone (SA) network in the country.
In a release, the telco said that the new technology will be initially offered in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Seville.
Orange noted that the coverage of 5G SA in these initial cities will exceed 90%, adding that new cities will be covered by this technology during 2023.
Orange also said that Ericsson, Nokia and Oracle Communications were the main providers of its 5G SA network.
“With the deployment of its 5G SA network, Orange becomes the first operator in Spain, the first of the Orange Group and one of the first in Europe to commercially launch 5G SA technology,” Orange said.
The teleco explained that the new technology allows better 5G coverage indoors, thanks to the use of native 5G bands; low latency, which will benefit services for which this requirement may be very relevant such as online gaming and live video streaming as well as a greater number of connected devices and greater security.
Orange has already deployed its 5G services in 1,529 towns and cities in 52 provinces across Spain.
According to the European carrier, its 5G network infrastructure reached 68.7% of the Spanish population as of the end of the third quarter of 2022.
The telco ended September with a total of 1.47 million subscribers in the 5G segment, after a net addition of 850,000 over the last 12 months.
Orange Spain is currently offering 5G services through frequencies in the 3.5 GHz and 700 MHz bands.
Last year, when Orange announced its deployment of 5G in the 700 MHz band, it said it would 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.
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 company invested a total of 523 million euros (currently $559 million) in the acquisition of these frequencies.
The operator launched commercial 5G services in Spain in September of 2020, using NonStandalone (NSA) architecture.
Last year, Orange and Masmovil had signed a binding agreement to combine their operations in Spain.
The transaction is subject to approval from antitrust and other regulatory review and is expected to close during the second half of 2023. The file has already been registered with the European Commission.
Under the terms of the deal, the 50-50 joint venture stipulates that both operators will have equal governance rights in the combined entity. The agreement also includes a right to trigger an IPO under certain conditions for both parties after a defined period and, in such a scenario, an option for Orange to take control of the combined entity.