Orange Espana has announced its plans for activation of 5G services on the 700 MHz band, describing the network as the largest 5G-700MHz network in Spain.
The 700 MHz band, already used by some operators for 4G, has the benefit of enabling good penetration inside buildings and good coverage with speeds comparable to those of mono-band 4G.
A few weeks after Vodafone said it would reach 109 localities by the end of the year, Orange responded that it will cover 1,100 towns and cities with the technology by December, including around 140 digital divide localities with less than 1,000 inhabitants.
The rollout will also include 140 towns and cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants and 820 localities with between 1,000 and 50,000 inhabitants across 30 provinces. Benefits of the 700 MHz band frequencies include lower latencies plus significantly better coverage in indoor and larger outdoor areas, said the operator.
Orange activated its first 5G antenna for the 700 MHz band at Valencia’s Polytechnic University last September, having switched on its Non-Standalone (NSA) 5G network in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville and Malaga the previous year.
The launch comes after Orange paid EUR 350 million for a 2×10 MHz block in the government’s July 2021 auction of frequencies in the 700 MHz band. Orange has the largest amount of 5G-compatible spectrum in Spain thanks to its existing 110 MHz concession in the 3.5 GHz band, for which it paid EUR 173 million.
As of 30 September 2021, Orange Espana offered 5G coverage to over 50% of the population and had 620,000 5G subscriptions.