MWC 2015: Telefónica jumps into 5G

DetailsJuan Fernandez Gonzalez | 03 March 2015

Among many other technological premieres, Barcelona's Mobile World Congress is becoming a testing ground for 5G technologies, with Telefónica now trying out its LTE-Advanced supported by Ericsson and based on carrier aggregations.

Both on its stand inside the MWC and in a hotel in the city, Telefónica is using all the spectrum slots it owns in Spain to deploy three bands - two of 20MHz in the 2,600 and 1,800 slots and one of 10MHz in the 800 slot - to reach speeds of up to 375/50Mbps.

The results are being shown during the event on a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, one of the first devices supporting three-band carrier aggregation for LTE-Advanced, and available for all visitors with compatible devices.

The Spanish telco has also announced that it will commercially launch the 5G service, depending on the spectrum availability and the devices on the market. Among the countries in which Telefónica operates, Spain will probably be the first to see 5G deployment, as the telco is already testing LTE-Advanced in Madrid and Barcelona.

According to Telefónica, the carrier aggregation technology enables the customers to have a fast and stable network, both for 5G and 4G technologies. Combining different bandwidths, the devices are able to select which slot is best to use, thus allowing it to be connected to lower bandwidths when inside a building as it has better penetration, or higher, faster bandwidths when they're available, making the connection very stable.