Orange initially launched its 5G SA network in Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Valencia and Seville
Spanish telecom operator Orange said it expects its 5G Standalone (SA) network to reach nearly 30 Spanish cities by the end of the first half of 2023.
Orange’s 5G SA network was initially launched in Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Valencia and Seville. It currently reaches other important cities such as Alicante, Castellon, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife, Valladolid and Zaragoza.
Orange noted that the coverage of 5G SA in these initial cities reaches nearly 80%.
Meanwhile, other cities including La Coruña, Badajoz, Barakaldo, Cádiz, Huelva, Jaén, Logroño, Málaga, Pamplona, Vigo and Vitoria will be reached by Orange’s SA network in the coming weeks, while the telco also said it aims to launch 5G SA services in additional cities during the second half of 2023.
With these upcoming additions, Orange said its 5G SA network will cover nearly 30% of the Spanish population.
Ericsson, Nokia and Oracle Communications are the main providers of Orange’s 5G SA network.
Orange recently said its overall 5G network reached a coverage of 80% of the Spanish population as of the end of March. The telco ended the first quarter of the year with a total of 1.94 million subscribers in the 5G segment, after a net addition of 258,000 during the period.
The Spanish carrier is currently offering 5G services through frequencies in the 3.5 GHz and 700 MHz bands.
As for 4G, the company ended Q1 with a coverage of 99% of the Spanish population and provides service to over 11 million customers.
Last year, when Orange announced its deployment of 5G in the 700 MHz band, it said it would offer 5G access 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.
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 (currently $559 million) in the acquisition of these frequencies.
The operator launched commercial 5G services in Spain in September of 2020, using the 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) architecture.
Last year, Orange and Masmovil signed a binding agreement to combine their operations in Spain.
The transaction is subject to approval from antitrust and other regulatory review and is expected to close during the second half of 2023. The file has already been registered with the European Commission.
Under the terms of the agreement, the 50-50 joint venture stipulates that both telcos will have equal governance rights in the combined entity. The dealalso includes a right to trigger an IPO under certain conditions for both parties after a defined period and, in such a scenario, an option for Orange to take control of the combined entity.