Orange announces 700MHz 5G deployment in Spain

Spanish operator Orange announced what it claims to be the largest deployment of 5G in the 700 MHz band in Spain.

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 in 30 provinces, with less than 1,000 citizens, will also benefit from this new technology, helping to reduce the digital divide. Orange says it will deploy 5G using spectrum in the 700 MHz band in 140 cities with more than 50,000 citizens.

In the deployment, nearly 30 towns and cities in the Community of Madrid will be able to have access to 700 MHz 5G services including Móstoles, Parla, Pinto, Alcalá de Henares, Fuenlabrada, Torrejón de Ardoz, Leganés and Alcobendas. Orange will also deploy 700 MHz 5G nodes in the mountain areas of Madrid, such as San Lorenzo del Escorial, Colmenar Viejo, Collado Villalba and Soto del Real.

In Catalonia, more than 160 towns and cities will also enjoy these deployments – Castelldefels, Manresa, Mataró, Sabadell, and Hospitalet de Llobregat y Terrasa among them. Smaller towns will also be able to take advantage of 5G technology on the 700 MHz band.

The 5G technology has the ability to promote the development of rural areas across the country, facilitating, for example, work on farms. Recently, within the framework of 5G National Plan, Orange, together with Agroamb, Ericsson and Qampo, presented a use case based on the installation of sensors connected via 5G IoT in croplands. Together with the use of satellite maps, this can obtain precise information on the state of the crops and improve its performance.

In September 2021, Orange put into operation its first 5G node in the 700 MHz band at the facilities of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, in order to provide service to the pilots that Orange is working on in the Valencian Community in the framework of the 5G National Plan.

“The 700 MHz band is essential to offer 5G coverage in 100% of the territory, due to the greater range offered by low frequencies and their greater indoor penetration capacity. This band will enable ultra-low latency services and allow the implementation of mIoT (massive IoT, massive machine-to-machine communications),” the telco said in a release. “If we think about a future with autonomous vehicles, a ubiquitous network with low latency like the one that can be achieved with the 700MHz band is key. In the short term, it will serve to complement the 3.5 GHz band that is already deployed, mainly improving the upstream data service) of 5G users.”

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 in the acquisition of these frequencies.

According to Orange’s latest financial results, presented by the company in September 2021, Orange had 620,000 5G customers while its 5G network reached more than half of the country’s population.

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