Following the launch of Vodafone Spain’s 3.7GHz 5G network on 15 June, domestic rival Orange Espana has clarified that it does not expect to launch its own 5G service until 2020. Local technology site XatakaMovil.com quotes Tomas Alonso, director of engineering at Orange Espana, as saying: ‘We will not deploy a network just for the sake of deploying it … Without spectrum, you cannot do anything.’
700MHz spectrum – referred to as the ‘second digital dividend band’ – is deemed to be crucial to Orange’s future 5G proposition and will augment its existing spectrum holdings in the 3.5GHz range. TeleGeography notes that the frequencies are currently utilised for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) services but will be freed up for 5G use by March 2020.
Mr Alonso’s comments were made at the Global 5G Event in Valencia, where Orange teamed up with ZTE of China to demonstrate a range of 5G applications, including industrial robotics, hologram calls and connected cars.