Spanish operator Orange has announced what it claims is the largest 5G rollout in the 700 MHz band in Spain.
The European carrier said it will gradually offer this technology during 2022 in more than 1,100 cities, including 820 with between 1,000 and 50,000 inhabitants.
In addition, 140 cities in 30 provinces with less than 1,000 inhabitants will also benefit from this new technology, helping to reduce the digital divide. Orange announces that it will deploy 5G using the 700 MHz band spectrum in 140 cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants.
Upon deployment, nearly 30 towns in the Community of Madrid will be able to access 5G 700 MHz services, including Móstoles, Parla, Pinto, Alcalá de Henares, Fuenlabrada, Torrejón de Ardoz, Leganés and Alcobendas. Orange will also deploy 700 MHz 5G nodes in mountainous areas of Madrid, such as San Lorenzo del Escorial, Colmenar Viejo, Collado Villalba and Soto del Real.
In Catalonia, more than 160 cities will also benefit from these deployments, including Castelldefels, Manresa, Mataró, Sabadell and Hospitalet de Llobregat y Terrasa. Small towns will also be able to take advantage of 5G technology on the 700 MHz band.
5G technology has the ability to foster the development of rural areas across the country, for example by facilitating work on farms. Recently, as part of the National 5G Plan, Orange, in collaboration with Agroamb, Ericsson and Qampo, presented a use case based on the installation of sensors connected via 5G IoT in cultivated land. Combined with the use of satellite maps, this makes it possible to obtain precise information on the state of crops and improve their performance.
In September 2021, Orange commissioned 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 Orange is working on in the Valencian Community within the framework of 5G National scheme.
“The 700 MHz band is essential to provide 5G coverage in 100% of the territory, due to the greater range offered by lower frequencies and their greater indoor penetration capacity. This band will enable ultra-low latency services and enable the implementation of mIoT (massive IoT, massive machine-to-machine communications),” the telecom operator said in a statement. “If we think of a future with autonomous vehicles, a ubiquitous low-latency network like the one that can be achieved with the 700 MHz band is essential. In the short term, it will serve to supplement the 3.5 GHz band already deployed, mainly improving the upstream data service) of 5G users.
In the last spectrum auction, Orange obtained 2×10 megahertz in the 700 MHz band, which is in addition to the 110 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band already held by Orange. The company has 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.