February 21, 2019
Vodafone Spain has become today the first operator in the world to make 5G standard calls from 5G mobile phones, after connecting the first smartphones to the 5G network with the specifications of the 3GPP NSA (Non Stand Alone) standard, which will be used later on commercial launch. The mobile phones have been connected to the Vodafone 5G network deployed in the center of Barcelona.
The operator managed to implement various services, including several video calls to Spanish journalists via the commercial network between Barcelona and Madrid with a Huawei terminal. In mobile tests, download speed of up to 1.7Gbps were achieved. Both the smartphones used and the Vodafone 5G network meet the specifications of the Non Stand Alone 5G – 3GPP Release 15 standard, approved last year.
Vodafone already achieved in February 2018 the first 5G connection in the world between Castelldefels and Madrid, although on that occasion, the connection consisted of a videoconference between a PC connected to a 5G standard test network and a 4G mobile.
It was also a pioneer in starting the deployment of a pre-commercial 5G network in Spain. In July 2018, it installed the first 5G NSA nodes in central areas of Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Malaga, Bilbao and Valencia. This deployment began only days after acquiring 90 MHz of contiguous spectrum in the 3.7 GHz band.
Vodafone Spain has already started several pilots in these cities to test possible 5G applications in the future. This is the case of the Connected Surgeon Project, in which a specialist surgeon guides, without being physically present and in real time, another surgeon who is operating in any operating room. Thanks to 5G technology, it is possible to transfer practical knowledge at critical moments. This pilot is part of a broad collaboration agreement that will make the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona the first 5G hospital in the country.
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