Vodafone Spain has set out its stall to expand its 5G network to reach 65% of the population and a total of 2,000 municipalities this year. The company is foregrounding the 700MHz band to develop its network in rural areas and small towns – given the better coverage and indoor coverage afforded by that band – as well as expanding its footprint using the 3700MHz band. In a press release the carrier noted that out of the 1,000 new municipalities scheduled to receive coverage in 2023, 238 have populations of less than 1,000 inhabitants and are located in more remote areas. The full breakdown is:

· Castilla y Leon, 231 municipalities, including Zamora, Arevalo, Toro or Ponferrada and La Alberca or Bonar

· Catalonia (301), including Argentona, Cornella de Llobregat or La Seu d`Urgell and Caldes de Malavella or Puigcerda

· Castilla La Mancha (176), including Puertollano, Azuqueca de Henares, Casas-Ibanez, Caudete, Belinchon and Lagartera or Iniesta

· Andalusia (170), including Estepa, Ubrique, San Juan del Puerto or Palos de la Frontera, Lucena and Antequera or Alcala de Guadaira

· Valencian Community (199), including Villena, Bunol or L’Alcora, La Yesa and Requena or La Pobla de Farnals

· Galicia (138), including Villagarcia de Arousa, Arteixo or Ribeira, Mondariz and Fisterra or Guitiriz

· The Basque Country (105), including Hondarribia, Mondragon or Portugalete and Labastida or Zamudio

· Aragon (74), including Fraga or Ejea de los Caballeros, Cucalon, Penalba and Castiello de Jaca or Chia

· Madrid (75), including Pozuelo de Alarcon, Cercedilla and Grinon or Alpedrete

· Extremadura (49), including Navalmoral de la Mata, Almendralejo or Villanueva de la Serena, Banos de Montemayor and Ceclavin or Lobon

· Asturias (42), including Langreo and Grado, Mieres or Norena

· Cantabria (44), including Camargo, Suances and Potes or Comillas

· Canary Islands (49), including Teror or Haria and Puerto del Rosario or Candelaria

· Navarra (36), including Cintruenigo or Estella, Puente la Reina and Olite or Cizur

· Balearic Islands (38), including Mahon, Andratx and Soller or Ferrerias

· Murcia Region (28), including Pliego, Bullas and Beniel or Cehegin

· La Rioja (34), including Santo Domingo de la Calzada or Arnedo, Ojacastro, Torrecilla en Cameros and Tormantos.

Commenting on the plans, Julia Velasco, network director of Vodafone Spain, said: ‘In order to continue facilitating the digital inclusion of companies, citizens and administrations, Vodafone’s 5G network will reach 65% of the total population in our country and 2,000 municipalities located in large and small cities, as well as rural areas. Our goal is to bridge the digital divide and provide connectivity to everyone, including those who need it most … It has been shown that an increase in the digitisation of services and the value chain in Spain over six years could increase Spain’s GDP by 4.38%, as well as productivity by 7.70%. Connectivity creates opportunities and makes it easier for no one to be left behind.’

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