SPANISH phone giant Telefonica has officially flicked the switch on 5G technology as it turned on its first 5G network in Spain yesterday.

The mobile company’s aim is to ensure that 75% of the country will receive the ultra high speed coverage by the end of the year.

Initially, 150 cities across Spain with populations of more than 50,000 will receive the coverage, with masts trickling down to areas with just 10,000 people by December.

The launch will coincide with Apple’s first foray into the 5G market this autumn, with fellow mobile makers Samsung, Xiaomi and Huawei following close behind.

The roll out is part of the nationwide plan to improve the communication network across Spain, led by Telefonica president Jose Maria Alvarez Pallete.

“Our 5G launch is a major jump towards hyper-connectivity that will change the future of Spain,” said Alvarez Pallete.

The new technology will provide a major boost to manufacturing and other industries across Spain, with super high network speeds allowing for full automation and linear connectivity.

Rival Vodafone launched its 5G offering in June last year in 25 major cities, whilst Orange plans to do the same next week, starting with Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla and Malaga.

Throughout the roll-out process, 3G coverage will be gradually phased out and eventually become obsolete by 2025

“In the future, there will be ultra-broadband coverage in all rural areas of Spain, bringing people back to emptied Spain and breathing life into rural industry,” said Alvarez Pallete.

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