Vodafone Spain out of the blocks with 5G ready hardware after spectrum win

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Vodafone Spain has started deploying pre-commercial 5G infrastructure across major cities just days after winning spectrum in the country's latest auction.

The operator and Huawei will deploy more than 30 5G-ready antennas throughout the centres of Barcelona (pictured), Bilbao, Madrid, Malaga, Seville and Valencia. Parks and universities will also be covered by the technology, which uses the 3.7GHz band.

Consumers will be able to connect to 5G speeds of up to 2.2GBps through Wi-Fi routers. The operator gave the now familiar use cases of smart cities, automotive and healthcare for 5G.

Vodafone Spain held virtual reality demonstrations to mark the launch of the technology. The deployment of the spectrum will also relieve congestion on its existing network, it said.

Last week the operator won the licence for 90MHz of adjacent spectrum in the 3.7GHz band, as well as 20MHz of TDD spectrum in the 2.6GHz band.

Ismael Asenjo, CTO of Vodafone Spain, said: "The fact that we have 90MHz of contiguous and in immediately usable conditions puts us in the best situation to offer new 5G features and bring their applications to all our customers."

Vodafone Spain has been busy in trialling and introducing a range of different technologies ahead of 5G's commercial launch.

Earlier this year it used multi-access edge computing and a virtualised infrastructure to slash the latency of virtual reality applications by more than half.

In February it made the world's first 5G New Radio call between Barcelona and Madrid using non-standalone technology and 3.7GHz spectrum.

It has also rolled out NB-IoT to more than 1,000 base stations across the country.