The local carrier of the world’s second-largest mobile operator Vodafone became the first to launch the superfast mobile phone network, which promises download speeds of up to one gigabit per second, in the Spanish market on Saturday. Apart from the Spanish capital and the capital of the country’s autonomous region, the services will also be available in Valencia, Malaga, Seville, Zaragoza, San Sebastian, Bilbao, Vitoria, La Coruna, Vigo, Gijon, Pamplona, Santander, and Logrono.
Spanish retail giant El Corte Ingles said it will commence sales of Vodafone’s 5G services in several stores in all of the operator’s launch cities on 15 June.
Vodafone last week confirmed that it will be switching on the country’s first commercial 5G network in 15 cities on 15 June, bringing initial speeds of up to 1 Gbps to customers with compatible handsets. Users will be able to try out the service and sign up to plans in El Corte Ingles stores in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Malaga, Zaragoza, Bilbao, Vitoria, San Sebastian, La Coruna, Vigo, Gijon, Pamplona, Logrono and Santander, said the retail chain in a statement.
Vodafone said the network will cover around 50 percent of the population in the 15 cities at launch but will be extended in the coming months. The service can be accessed via the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G, LG V50 ThinQ 5G and Samsung Galaxy S10 5G smartphones, with subscribers to the operator’s new ‘Ilimitada’ plans with all-you-can-eat data able to access the 5G network at no additional cost.
Before Spain, only two European countries had commercialized 5G: Switzerland and the UK. However, Washington has already been pushing its allies to drop Huawei technology on the 5G rollout, citing security concerns. Despite US pressure, British lawmakers have not barred Huawei from participating its fifth-generation network to date, but mobile operators EE and Vodafone have already dropped Huawei phones from their 5G launch plans.