Spanish mobile network operators (MNOs) Telefonica Espana (Movistar), Vodafone Spain and Orange Espana each substantially developed their respective fifth-generation networks last year, according to information compiled by AntenasMoviles based on data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs & Digital Transformation (MINECO).

With MNOs licensed to use both the 3.6GHz (n78) band for high-density urban coverage and 700MHz (n28) spectrum for wide coverage of more rural areas, Movistar led the way with the buildout of an additional 3,269 cell sites in the lower band, and 2,553 new sites in the 3.6GHz band. As a result, the company boasted a total of 10,993 5G cell sites on air by the start of 2024, up from 5,171 twelve months earlier. By comparison, Orange deployed 2,760 lower band and 530 upper band base stations for a total of 9,435 (Jan-23: 6,145), while Vodafone deployed 1,830 at 700MHz and 456 3.6GHz sites for a total of 6,012 (Jan-23: 3,726). Only Grupo MASMOVIL fell further away from the pack. The company, which mainly uses Orange’s network to carry its services, holds no 700MHz frequencies and actually shut down 22 base stations last year, to end December with just 110 3.6GHz sites on air.

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