• 83% of European H2020 projects on 5G feature Spanish involvement. This figure represents an investment of 56 million euros by the European Commission
  • Alcobendas, Barcelona, Malaga, Segovia and Talavera de la Reina are Spain’s 5G cities at the forefront of the performance of pilot projects
  • In 2020, Spain expects to double the number of tests done on this technology and to exceed the figure of fifty active projects


Madrid, 22 October 2019-. The 5G National Observatory, an initiative promoted by Mobile World Capital Barcelona, the Ministry of Economy and Business through the Secretary of State, and Red.es, has brought together the Spanish 5G ecosystem at its first annual forum. The meeting dealt with the challenges and opportunities that this technology represents for the economy and industry and emphasised the potential of 5G as a driving force for competitiveness.

In 2019, 24 pilot projects have been promoted in Spain and we now have five benchmark “5G cities”: Alcobendas, Barcelona, Malaga, Segovia and Talavera de la Reina. Specifically, these cities have tested 5G applied to areas such as sustainability, mobility and projects with a social impact. The 5G National Observatory expects this number of projects to double in 2020 and far exceed the fifty or so projects associated with the 5G National Plan. There are 32 pilot trials to be performed in Andalusia, 8 in Galicia and 11 pilot trials to be assigned in the second call. On a parallel basis, pilot projects are also expected to be performed through initiatives such as 5G Barcelona and 5Tonic.

Moreover, in all Europe Spain has both the second highest volume of projects and economic return after Germany. According to Federico Ruiz, head of the 5G National Observatory, “8 out of 10 European projects on this technology feature Spanish involvement”. Specifically, in Spain 51 European projects associated with 5G have been promoted within the framework of H2020. This represents 83% of the total and an investment volume of 56 million euros by the European Commission. Ruiz also emphasised “the huge potential of our country in terms of research applied to technological innovation” and concluded: “We have the obligation to go beyond the pilot projects and to transform this investment into economic development”.

The I National Forum has focused its attention not only on the status of deployment in Spain, but also on the economic sectors in which this technology will have the greatest influence.

According to the 5G National Observatory, the major areas of development are Industry 4.0, with clear applications in logistics and robotics, and Smart Cities, which not only affect the city concept, but also extend throughout the territory in rural applications, smart infrastructures and mobility. As regards vertical industry applications, 5G in Spain will have a clear impact on the automotive industry –one of the key sectors also in Europe as a whole- and on leisure and entertainment, in which our country can offer developments associated with tourism and gaming.


Turn ON5G, the I 5G National Forum

The first forum promoted by the 5G National Observatory featured the participation of Nadia Calviño, acting Minister for Economy and Business, who closed the event. Francisco Polo, Secretary of State for Digital Advancement, and Carlos Grau, CEO of Mobile World Capital Barcelona, also took part. In addition to in-depth analysis of the sector by Federico Ruiz, head of the 5G National Observatory, Dino Flore, Deputy Chairman for technology of Qualcomm Europa also offered the meeting a global perspective.

The event also involved different round tables featuring experts and companies from the sector that will be working to deploy 5G in Spain. Specifically, debates were held on the challenges and opportunities of the new technological paradigm with Nokia Spain, Ericsson, IDATE DigiWorld, GSMA Europe and Huawei Spain; on current keys and future plans with Vodafone, Orange, Telefónica Spain, Cellnex Telecom and MÁSMÓVIL Group –chaired by DigitalES–; on 5G in economic sectors: on the impact of new connectivity with Anteverti, COIT, Bosch Group, i2CAT –chaired by AMETIC–; and on innovation and entrepreneurship in the 5G ecosystem with the participation of the iTEAM Research Institute from the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Mujeres Tech, Alastria, Samsung Networks and Zhilab.