MasOrange rolls out private 5G in Barcelona

MasOrange has deployed a private 5G network for the Port of Barcelona, the latest indication of growing traction in the private networks space.

Nick Wood

July 10, 2024

3 Min Read

In an announcement this week the Spanish telecoms operator revealed that the private standalone 5G network Orange – as it was known when the deal was inked – rolled out for the Port of Barcelona is now operational.

And as such it is keen to wax lyrical about the potential benefits of the network, highlighting its large capacity and high reliability, to the port ecosystem.

The immediate benefits include the availability of a support network should the main system fail, Orange explained in a Spanish language statement. Companies will also be able to install cameras and sensors quickly and efficiently in areas without fibre access, it noted.

Network coverage is also a talking point, given that the new infrastructure covers the whole of the port area as well as the two surrounding nautical miles, Orange said. It added that some cases are at the discussion stage, while others are being put into practice, such as a service where pilot boats can be in touch with the control tower and various connected cameras to view in real time a precise and secure digitized representation of the radar signal.


Port police will also benefit. They, along with other security and emergency services, will have the benefit of real-time access to CCTV signals and aerial drones sent via 5G.

"The use cases we have seen today are just one example of the potential of 5G technology," said Lluís Salvadó, president of the Port of Barcelona, adding that he is confident of "many more applications" to come.

"The outcome [of this project] already allows the improvement and reinforcement of security in the daily operations of the port, thanks to the latest 5G spectrum bands available in Spain, which guarantee the ultra-low latency, high data capacity and multi-operability between devices that these activities require," said Victor Vera, director of MasOrange in Catalonia.

The network is backed by an investment of €3.6 million spread over five years – it's actually a four-year agreement with a possible 12-month extension – which puts it well inside the threshold for private network deals tracked by the GSA.

Last month the industry body shared its latest report into the sector, revealing that as of the first quarter of this year it had catalogued 1,427 customers deploying private mobile networks worldwide worth more than €100,000. There were 43 customer additions in Q1, the lowest in a number of quarters, but nonetheless the market is growing.

Just shy of a quarter of those customers have deployed 5G-based private networks, although another 22% are using a combination of LTE and 5G. The firm did not mention 5G standalone in its report.

In the seaports sector almost half of private network deployments to date are on 5G, although the figure for the maritime industry is much lower at less than 20%. And the seaports sector ranks fairly highly in terms of customer deployments and trials (see chart), albeit still some way behind manufacturing, and to a lesser extent, education, mining and a handful of others.

As alluded to by MasOrange's Vera, Spain has dedicated spectrum for industry. The GSA report shows that with the exception of China, the countries that have set aside spectrum for this type of deployment have the most private mobile network deals in place. Spain ranks 12th in the GSA's list, with 20 private network customers. To put that in context, the US, at the top of the pile, has 198, with 15 added in Q1 alone.

Nonetheless, there is clearly a market opportunity in Spain, and MasOrange is positioning itself to capture it.

About the Author(s)

Nick Wood

Nick is a freelancer who has covered the global telecoms industry for more than 15 years. Areas of expertise include operator strategies; M&As; and emerging technologies, among others. As a freelancer, Nick has contributed news and features for many well-known industry publications. Before that, he wrote daily news and regular features as deputy editor of Total Telecom. He has a first-class honours degree in journalism from the University of Westminster.

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