Vodafone and Telefónica race to launch Spanish LTE

Vodafone and Telefónica are set to launch pre-commercial LTE service this month aimed at providing high-speed data services to government subscribers and large enterprise customers, according to reports in the Spanish media.

Telefónica said this week that it will launch "the first 4G services on its new LTE network" in the coming days. meanwhile, Vodafone is reported to have infrastructure ready to provide coverage in Malaga, Barcelona and Madrid, the Spanish newspaper El Pais, while Telefónica will only offer services in Barcelona and Madrid using equipment supplied by Huawei and ZTE. Vodafone's plans were also reported by the newspaper Cinco Dias.

No handsets will be available for these initial services, but both firms say LTE USB modems will be on sale from the launch dates. Vodafone and Telefónica are expected to use the 2.6GHz band for these first deployments, with usage of the 800MHz frequency not expected to happen until 2014.

Telefónica has previously said that it will aim to meet the European Union's digital agenda recommendation of providing 100 per cent of the Spanish population with fixed and wireless broadband speeds of 30Mbps by 2020, with at least 50 per cent of households having access to 100Mbps by this time.

For more:
- see this El Pais article (translated via Google Translate)
- see this Total Telecom article
- see this Telecompaper article (sub. req.)

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