Telefonica is set to launch a new tender in the coming weeks for the user plane function (UPF) of its 5G standalone (SA) service in Spain, reports business daily Expansion. The move is designed to help the operator shift away from reliance on Huawei for its 5G SA core, thus becoming the first Spanish operator to do so.

Telefonica officially debuted its 5G SA service – branded Movistar 5G+ –in more than 700 localities throughout Spain earlier this year. The service allows customers with compatible devices in areas covered by the operator’s 3.5 GHz band concessions to browse the internet at speeds of up to 1.6 Gbps, with Telefonica planning to offer 5G SA in most cities with more than 250,000 inhabitants by the end of the year. 

The corresponding radio networks are being rolled out by Ericsson and Nokia, who were each awarded 50 percent of the corresponding five-year contracts back in 2021. The report indicates that one of the two vendors is widely expected to take over the UPF element, which manages and provides internet access to the traffic of the user’s terminal, when the contract is awarded.

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