Orange launches 5G in Madrid, Barcelona using Ericsson equipment

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Spanish operator Orange has launched commercial 5G services in Spain using equipment provided by Ericsson, the latter said in a release.

The carrier initially launched 5G technology in Madrid and Barcelona with the deployment of Ericsson’s 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) and core products and solutions.

Orange’s initial 5G deployments with Ericsson in these two cities will be followed by other locations under a four-year partnership to help Orange Spain develop its 5G offering across Spain, the Swedish vendor said.

Operating on 3.6GHz 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.

Ericsson also supplied Orange Spain with a 5G Evolved Packet Core to support 5G New Radio non-standalone (NSA), including control plane, user plane and policy network functions.

Ericsson currently has 108 commercial 5G agreements and contracts with unique communications service providers, of which 58 are publicly announced 5G deals, including 60 live commercial 5G networks.

Last month, rival operator Telefónica launched 5G services in Spain, with plans to reach 75% of the Spanish population with this technology by the end of the year.

Telefónica is offering its 5G service through spectrum in the 3.5 GHz  and 1.8-2.1 GHz bands. Telefonica also said it expects a gradual shutdown of its 2G and 3G networks once 5G becomes fully available.

According to Spanish press reports, Telefonica will begin 5G deployment in 150 cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants, almost all the cities with 30,000, more than 50% of those with 20,000 inhabitants and some with more than 10,000 inhabitants. The telco is working with Ericsson, Nokia and Huawei on its 5G network deployment.

Meanwhile, Vodafone launched Spain’s first commercial 5G network in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Malaga, Zaragoza, Bilbao, Vitoria, San Sebastian, La Coruna, Vigo, Gijon, Pamplona, Logrono and Santander in June 2019. The company had previously said that it was working with Huawei and Ericsson in the deployment of the 5G network.

As of the end of May, Vodafone Spain had activated its 5G network in a total of 21 cities across the country using its spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band.

Also, Masmovil said it expects to launch its 5G network in parts of Spain this month, according to recent press reports. The launch will be carried out through an agreement with rival operator Orange.

Initially, Masmovil will offer 5G connectivity in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville and Malaga. In these cities, 5G coverage will reach approximately 20% of the population with a network of 200 base stations, according to the report.

In a future phase, the operator aims to launch its own 5G SA network with 80 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.4 GHz – 3.8 GHz band.

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