Spain’s Government tests 5G at 700 MHz for potential interference with Digital TV

5G in 700 MHz Interference Tests:

The Spanish government has begun a series of trials to ensure that the country’s forthcoming 5G services in the 700 MHz band will not interfere with DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) transmissions, reports website Voz Populi.

The tests are being conducted on Movistar (Telefonica), Vodafone and Orange infrastructure in the Ciudad Real in the central Castilla La Mancha region, with Huawei, Nokia and Ericsson as the 5G network equipment suppliers.

Image Credit: Europress

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Spain’s government is finally prepared to auction frequencies in the 700 MHz band [1.] before the end of May, having delayed the tender several times due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The eight blocks of 20-year frequencies will have a starting price of EUR 1.17 billion and the ministry said it was looking to raise at least EUR 2 billion, although operators have called on the government to cut the price due to already high tax burdens and with a view to boosting investment.

Note 1. Before the auction of the 700 MHz band takes place (it has been delayed again for the third time due to the COVID-19 pandemic), it is necessary to know that the technology does not interfere with other bands and services, as is the case with the TDT.

–>Please see section below on 5G Auction Delay.

Spain finally completed its second digital dividend plan to free up the 700 MHz band for 5G services at the end of last year after it was suspended in mid-March due to the first coronavirus lockdown.

Anonymous sources involved in the test told Vozpópuli:

“This is what the protocol dictates. First, the 700 MHz band of television channels has been cleaned up, something that happened in October last year, and the spectrum blocks occupied by the Ministry of Defense in the 3.5 GHz band. Now the procedure to follow is to carry out tests to see the behavior of 5G technology with others that also use radioelectric spectrum. This is precisely what is being done now.”

The same sources explained that the tests are currently being carried out with total normality. Furthermore, the coexistence between 5G and digital television does not seem to present problems, i.e. there has been no interference detected to date.

Implications of the 5G Auction Delay:

The delay in the 5G auction is good news for some, and bad for others. For network operators it is a breath of oxygen due to their financial and market situation. The billing of the telecommunications majors is frozen. The 5G auction supposes, from the outset, the payment of billions of euros. The bid is set, according to the General State Budgets, at 2,000 million euros, although operators suspect that this amount will rise by 10% more.

Deployment cost must be added to this spectrum auction investment.  Once the specific spectrum blocks that each operator are determined, the infrastructure can be deployed. That will likely be in billions of Euros.

Vozpópuli Editorial Comment:

“The development of 5G does not seem peremptory in need. The reality is that there are no services to be delivered with this (5G) technology that the user can exploit with a connection up to 100 times faster than that offered by 4G.”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

References:

https://www.vozpopuli.com/economia_y_finanzas/5g-pruebas-tdt-television.html

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/spain-conducting-5g-dtt-interference-tests-on-700-mhz-band–1378248

https://techblog.comsoc.org/2020/05/06/spain-waits-for-700mhz-5g-auction-as-coronavirus-impacts-supply-chains/

https://techblog.comsoc.org/2020/09/01/telefonica-switches-on-5g-75-of-spain-to-be-covered-this-year/

https://techblog.comsoc.org/2020/12/02/spains-plan-to-bring-ftth-and-5g-to-its-entire-population/