27 Jun 2019
Spain has become one of the first European countries to introduce a 5G network, with Vodafone Spain and Chinese telecom giant Huawei collaborating to bring the service in 15 Spanish cities.
The service has been introduced in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Malaga, Seville, Zaragoza, San Sebastian, Bilbao, Vitoria, La Coruna, Vigo, Gijon, Pamplona, Santander, and Logrono.
It allows users to browse using a fast and efficient phone network with speeds of up to one gigabit per second. 5G had only been commercialised in two European countries before Spain, being Switzerland and the United Kingdom – while Washington has pressured its allies to cease making use of Huawei after placing it on an ‘entity list’.
This follows the US blacklisting China’s Huawei, which had mainly been fuelled by trade disputes between the world’s two biggest economies. The Trump administration had accused the tech giant of spying for the Chinese government, although this allegation was denied. Beijing then responded by threatening to do the same with US companies.
However, British lawmakers have not given in to the demands, while telecom company Sunrise launched its first 5G smartphone in partnership with Huawei in Switzerland.
According to Vodafone CEO Nick Read, abolishing Huawei from Europe’s 5G networks would not work in favour of operators nor consumers, and could potentially delay its launch by two years.
He said: “It structurally disadvantages Europe. Of course, the US don’t have that problem because they don’t put Huawei equipment in.”