Orange 4G goes live in Spain

Summary:The first phase of Orange's LTE rollout has launched in six cities across Spain.

Orange has become the second mobile operator in Spain to launch 4G coverage in the country.

Orange's LTE, which went live on Monday, covers six of the country's major cities: Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Malaga, and Murcia.

A further nine cities — Zaragoza, Bilbao, La Coruña, Palma de Mallorca, Las Palmas, Alicante, Córdoba, Valladolid, and Vigo — will be covered by the end of the year and all Spanish provincial capitals will be covered by the end of 2014, Orange said.

The company says it has invested €70m on improving its networking infrastructure in Madrid alone. At launch, 80 percent of the city's population will be able to get 4G services, which equates to around three million people. Some of the outlying Madrid suburbs will be able to get coverage by the end of the first half of 2014, according to the operator.

The company had previously revealed how much its 4G services would cost, with the cheapest plan priced at €23 per month and tariffs going up to €35 for consumers and €39 for businesses. There's a full break-down of the tariffs and costs here .

Vodafone became the first telco to launch 4G in Spain when its services went live at the end of May; before that, both Yoigo and Orange claimed they would be first to launch until Vodafone stole a march on the pair. Yoigo's services are expected to go live within days . Telefonica-owned Movistar, Spain's largest mobile operator, is now the only major carrier not to have launched or even announced its 4G plans.

The Spanish government has repeatedly stressed the importance of improving the country's digital infrastructure, saying it could add up to €12bn to Spain’s economy over the next few years. That could prove to be a big boost for a country with a struggling economy and unemployment of 27 percent.

Topics: 4G, EU, Mobility

About

Steve is a freelance journalist based in Madrid, specialising in technology and how it impacts businesses. His previous roles include web editor at Computer Business Review (CBR) and before that staff writer at a magazine that wrote about and sold collectable items.

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