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Vodafone chooses Spain for 5G debut

Vodafone has chosen Spain as the setting for its 5G debut, with the launch of its commercial network across 15 cities scheduled for June 15.

Vodafone España will launch 5G in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Málaga, Zaragoza, Bilbao, Vitoria, San Sebastián, La Coruña, Vigo, Gijón, Pamplona, Logroño and Santander

The network will initially offer downstream speeds of up to 1Gbps, potentially rising to 2Gbps at the end of this year.

Vodafone said that the network would provide latency of under 5 milliseconds, seen as a key feature for real-time applications such as autonomous vehicles, tele-medicine and – in the area of entertainment – virtual reality, 8K video and cloud gaming. Vodafone has struck an exclusive partnership with cloud gaming specialist Hatch to highlight the capabilities of the network.

Vodafone also said that 5G roaming would be available in the UK, Italy and Germany later this summer.

Vodafone is offering two plans for 5G – Vodafone ilimitada Total for €49.99 a month and Vodafone One Ilimitada Total for €109.99, designed for users that engage in intensive consumption of video, mobile TV or cloud gaming.

Vodafone’s deal with Hatch will give users access to over 160 streaming games from the Finnish outfit, including some exclusive titles. Hatch Premium costs €6.99 a month, but Vodafone is offering a year free of charge to Ilimitada Total subscribers.

Subscribers in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Málaga, Bilbao, Pamplona and Zaragozawill be able to access VR, AR and cloud gaming from June 19.

Vodafone is offering three mobile handsets for the service – the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, the LG V50 ThinQ 5G and the Mi MIX 3 5G – for various monthly fees.