Friday, March 27, 2015

Orange Spain to Launch 400 Mbps LTE-A in 10 Cities This Year

Orange Spain has announced that it will be launching LTE-A technology, capable of delivering sustained speeds of 300 Mbps and peak speeds of 400 Mbps, in 10 Spanish cities by the end of 2015. When it showcased the technology at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona earlier this month, Orange claimed it reached the highest speeds yet seen in Spain by aggregating the 2,600 MHz, 1,800 MHz and 800 MHz frequencies (the 800 MHz frequency is due to be released next month). The LTE-A service will be expanded from Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia to seven other large cities—Seville, Zaragoza, M├ílaga, Palma de Mallorca, Murcia, Las Palmas and Bilbao—by the end of the year. Orange currently has approximately 2.3 million 4G customers, and the company confirmed that it remains on course to bring 4G services to 85 percent of the Spanish population by the end of year, including all localities with over 10,000 inhabitants.
We are a little skeptical about the utility of LTE-A, at least for consumers. Speeds in the hundreds of megabytes per second are not necessary for even the most data-intensive activities such as downloading movies. According to network testing firm OpenSignal, Spain already has the fastest mobile network speeds in the world, averaging 18 Mbps. Of the country’s operators, Vodafone came out the fastest of the eligible networks tested, with average speeds of 25.2 Mbps. Now, we understand that Orange may want to catch up, but speeds of 300 to 400 Mbps would appear to be a case of, to say the least, massive retaliation. Spain is experiencing rather severe economic problems right now, and that, combined with the fact that it is already the world leader in network speed, indicates that an LTE-A rollout in the country is not a good use of resources on the part of a mobile operator.

The above item appeared in recent issue of The Tarifica Alert, a weekly resource that analyzes noteworthy developments in the telecoms industry from around the world. To access all of the latest articles and issues or to speak with the research team:

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