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Telefónica maps out 'journey to 5G speeds'

Spain's giant telecom comes to Mobile World Congress with demo speeds of up to 375 Mbps on its LTE-Advanced commercial network.


BARCELONA -- Spanish telecommunications giant Telefónica, used Mobile World Congress to map what its executives call their "Journey to 5G."

During a Spanish-language press conference with Latin American media today, Telefónica CTO Enrique Blanco presented the company's 3-band carrier aggregation (3CA) technology, which runs in a commercial network with Ericsson's equipment and reaches speeds of up to 375Mbps downstream. The idea? To minimize latency levels and expand the range of its network to offer the best mobile experience to customers.

"We don't want to talk about 4.5G, nor 4.9g...we talk about 5G," Blanco said during a presentation that focused on the technical nature of the evolution. During his talk, two major trends kept coming up: the Internet of Things and the "virtualization" of the future.

A 5G network promises not only be significantly faster, but also smarter, which will handle the growing trend of connecting everything to the Internet.

Telefónica used the meeting to make a live demonstration of the 3-band carrier aggregation (3CA) using a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 , one of the first category 9 devices ready for the market. "This technology is key to the evolution of LTE," Blanco said, and added that the company expects to commercially launch the service -- pending availability of spectrum and compatible commercial devices in the market.