There was a previous auction in 2015-2016, where spectrum rights in the 3.5 GHz band were granted.
On July 2018, following the relevant auction procedure, the Spanish State granted the use of the 3600 to 3800 MHz band to different operators. After such granting, several operators have increased their involvement in 5G technology pilot projects and programmes which started in 2017.
Main commercial operations involving 5G technology are expected to take place during 2020.
On April 2019, Orange and Vodafone entered into a network sharing agreement for the deployment of 5G in towns below 175,000 inhabitants (almost 15,000 sites).
On 15 June 2019 Vodafone has launched its 5G offer for consumers (not yet for industrial purposes) in 15 Spanish cities: Barcelona, Bilbao, Gijón, La Coruña, Logroño, Madrid, Málaga, Pamplona, Santander, San Sebastián, Sevilla, Valencia, Vigo, Vitoria and Zaragoza.
On 1 October 2019, Orange and MásMóvil announced an additional network sharing agreement for the deployment of 5G in the 40 biggest cities in Spain (about 4,500 sites, covering 35% of the Spanish population), plus a roaming agreement for MásMóvil in order to provide 5G services in the rest of the Spanish territory through the Orange network, where the MásMóvil network had not yet been deployed.
During the first half of 2020, it is foreseeable that the 700 MHz band will be available and a public tender will subsequently be called. Neutral wholesale network operators (such as Cellnex), with industrial focus, may then have an opportunity to enter the market.