Spain to allow use of 26 GHz band for 5G private networks

The Council of Ministers in Spain has approved a decree, which modifies the regulation on the use of public radioelectric domain and allows the reorganization of the 26 GHz band, enabling it to be used by industrial companies for private networks.

In a statement, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation noted that the regulatory change establishes that a portion of the 26 GHz band will be granted without the need of a bidding process and opens the way for it to be used for industrial use—at reduced scope, on a “self-service” basis.

“This modification means taking a further step towards the creation of private 5G networks for the automation of factories and production centers”, the ministry said.

In addition, the ministry indicated that this modification of the regulation is part of the government’s plan to promote 5G technology in the country, which is aligned with the objectives established in the Recovery Plan and the Digital Spain 2026 Agenda.

Local newspaper Cinco Dias said that ministry sources explained that the blocks to be awarded are those that were decided to be reserved for self-provision; 450 megahertz had been reserved for this purpose and was not awarded in an auction in December.

Last month, local operators Telefónica, Orange and Vodafone secured additional spectrum to expand 5G services after the government completed a tender to award frequencies in the 26 GHz band.

Telefónica secured 1 gigahertz of spectrum for a total of 20 million euros ($21.1 million), while Orange and Vodafone have obtained 400 megahertz for 8 million euros each.