Mobile operator Orange Espana has announced the commercial launch of its 5G Standalone (SA) network, with the cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Seville the first to enjoy its ‘5G+’ offering. The company stated that from launch, coverage in the four cities will exceed 90% of their respective populations and that as 2023 unfolds, it plans to add other cities/towns to the 5G+ footprint. Orange’s website claims the new network is capable of 1.5Gbps peak data speeds while providing improved indoor 5G coverage and consuming ‘up to 20 times less energy’, enabling longer device battery life; other advantages of 5G SA touted by the operator include better network latency for online gaming and future uses such as virtual reality and autonomous vehicles, and more advanced network security.

The 5G SA launch marks a first for an MNO in Spain, although TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that rivals Grupo MASMOVIL, Telefonica Espana (Movistar) and Vodafone Spain are each readying their own respective 5G SA launches. Orange Espana, which has invested some EUR531 million (USD567.7 million) in 5G frequencies, said its launch is being supported by core network suppliers Ericsson, Nokia and Oracle Communications.

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