Out of the eleven EU member states that have shown interest in the new technology, Spain has proved it’s commitment by launching a National Strategy in the implementation of the fifth generation telecommunications.
It has also led the most pilot tests of all its European counterparts, followed by France, Italy and Germany.
The National Strategy has been introduced by the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda at the end of 2017 and included the auction of blocks of bandwidth across the country.
Vodafone was the operator that so far has invested the greatest, with the purchase of 18 areas of five megahertz (MHz) for €198.1 million.
Other buyers included Orange, with 12 blocks of 5 MHz for €132.1 million, and Telefónica, with 10 5 MHz blocks for €107.4 million. Overall the auction has raised over €438 million.
Commercial 5G was introduced in Spain last June by Vodafone and continues to be the only provider to be active so far.
The new technology was made available commercially in 15 cities across Spain, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Malaga, Zaragoza, Bilbao, Vitoria, San Sebastián, La Coruña, Vigo, Gijón, Pamplona, Logroño and Santander.
Orange are due to begin service at the end of 2019 whilst Telefonica will be active mid 2020. According to EU regulations, each EU member country must have the service available in each city by the end of 2021.