Telefónica, a telecommunications company in Spain, has begun testing 5G connections in the Spanish cities of Segovia and Talavera de la Reina and will continue for the next three years.
Segovia and Talavera de la Reina are two cities in central Spain about two hours away from each other. Segovia houses the famous Aqueduct and Alcazar of Segovia — it's really a city of rich history and culture, rather than technology, which makes it an interesting choice. Similarly, Talavera de la Reina contains the Basilica de Nuestra Señora del Prado and many museums.
Telefónica seems to think that they're great options — they'll be converting the two cities into '5G living laboratories' to test different technologies in partnerships with Nokia in Segovia and Ericsson in Talavera de la Reina.
Ericsson also has trials with Vodafone in London while Nokia is hosting trials in Bristol.
Luis Miguel Gilpérez, CEO of Telefónica, thinks that partnering up and holding trials will usher Spain into the next IoT generation while also improving user experience.
"With the 5G Technological Cities project, Telefónica is turning the technology of the future into reality and providing a constant service for people," said Gilpérez, in a release. "This is why we will perform the technological deployment and use cases in parallel, so that we will serve people with the new technologies, one of Telefónica's clear objectives."
During these trials, Telefónica is also working with carmaker SEAT and vehicle supplier FICOSA to improve and introduce connected smart cars and new tourism strategies incorporating virtual and augmented realities. Other technologies being tested will be industrial innovations, VR and AR, radio, healthcare, mobile gaming and the remote control of drones.
The trials are predicted to increase the speed of mobiles from one Gbps to ten Gbps while reducing latency — between one to five milliseconds — and increasing capacity. At first, the 5G network will need a prior 4G network to support it, but gradually it'll become a standalone entity.
Telefónica hopes to be a part of the new digital revolution taking over the world and Spain is only one of its milestones. Little by little, 5G and IoT will advance to most Spanish and European cities as long as there's user participation and funding, which only time will show.