Swedish telecommunications equipment manufacturer Ericsson and Romanian telecommunications services operator RCS&RDS have launched the first 5G commercial service in Romania in Bucharest.

The technology is seen as essential for such automotive advances as autonomous cars and vast amounts of data transfer which will be required in a future era of highly connected vehicles.

Built on top of DIGI's 4G network, the enhanced mobile broadband capabilities enable customers to connect to both 4G and 5G simultaneously, the two companies said in a joint press release cited by romania-insider.com.

RCS & RDS is the Romanian branch of Digi Communications, a Dutch company which provides fixed and mobile electronic communications in Romania, Hungary, Spain and Italy. 

The report said this first phase of DIGI's 5G rollout is a non-standalone (NSA) deployment focused on using the combined power of 4G and 5G.

Within weeks, DIGI and Ericsson will activate more 5G radios and base stations in Bucharest and the city of Cluj-Napoca.

According to romania-insider.com, the country plans to start auctions for additional spectrum needed for 5G wireless networks in the fourth quarter of 2019. DIGI can already start offering initial 5G services through its available commercial spectrum within the 3.6 – 3.8 GHz band, the companies said.

"It is a crucial time for 5G in Europe and Ericsson is focused on making sure the continent is ready to reap the benefits that increased network capacity and ultra-low latency will bring," Ericsson president and head of Europe and Latin America, Arun Bansal, was quoted as saying.