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Telefónica promises 75% Spanish population 5G coverage this year

Spanish telecoms group Telefónica officially switched on its 5G signal today and promised three quarters of the population will have access by the end of the year.

Scott Bicheno

September 1, 2020

2 Min Read
Telefónica promises 75% Spanish population 5G coverage this year
Sign of the 5g on digital screen, close up. 3d illustration.

Spanish telecoms group Telefónica officially switched on its 5G signal today and promised three quarters of the population will have access by the end of the year.

That’s quite a lofty claim when you consider how rubbish many other developed economies are at 5G. It should be stressed that it’s easier to get high population coverage numbers than geographical coverage ones, but then again Spain isn’t the most urbanized of countries, so it still represents a relatively advanced build-out.

“The launch of our 5G network constitutes a leap forward towards the hyperconnectivity that will change the future of Spain,” said José María Álvarez-Pallete, Telefónica’s Executive Chairman. “It’s 5G for everyone, without any exceptions. In all the autonomous communities. Telefónica will accelerate the digitisation of SMEs, the public administrations and the general public with this initiative. Like fibre and like so many other great things, 5G is Telefónica.

“With 5G everything happens in a millisecond. A millisecond is what makes remote surgery, autonomous cars, the smart management of energy resources and cities and highly advanced entertainment possible. A millisecond is much more than a new response time. It’s Telefónica’s response to the new times. It’s Telefónica’s commitment to the country’s future.”

There was even more of this hyperbolic gushing from Álvarez-Pallete, but you get the message: Telefónica to the rescue! He is entitled to crow a bit with such a substantial 5G build-out, but the proof of the putting will be in the speeds. It’s not difficult to provide a lot of coverage using small amount s of low frequency spectrum but, as we’ve seen in the US, if it’s not much faster than 4G then there’s not much point.

Telefónica says it’s using 1800-2100 MHz and 3.5 GHz bands for its 5G coverage, neither of which qualify as low frequency, so that makes the coverage claim even more impressive. Whether or not the use of those bands will translate to good capacity and proper 5G speeds remains to be seen, but if it does then Álvarez-Pallete will be entitled to gloat some more.

About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of Telecoms.com, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Telecoms.com Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Telecoms.com Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

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