Spanish mobile network operator Vodafone Spain has revealed plans to deploy Long Term Evolution Advanced (LTE-A) technology next month on a commercial basis. With the operator noting that the technology upgrade theoretically enables downlink speeds of up to 300Mbps, it has confirmed that it will initially be available in Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia, before coverage is progressively expanded to other locations. In announcing its plans, Vodafone confirmed it would utilise the 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands to deploy LTE-A, with 800MHz digital dividend spectrum expected to be used once it becomes available. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in December last year Vodafone Spain carried out test of LTE-A technology in Madrid using spectrum in the 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands.
Meanwhile, alongside the planned LTE-A rollout, Vodafone Spain has also revealed that it is conducting trials of voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) technology, noting that it expects to launch the service commercially in ‘the coming months’.
With Vodafone Spain having been the first operator in Spain to launch its LTE network to the public in May 2013, today it claims to have 4G coverage of more than 619 municipalities, including a total of 80 cities with a population of more than 70,000 and all provincial capitals. By the end of this year the cellco has said it expects to cover all cities with more than 25,000 inhabitants.