Entanglement and particle indistinguishability are two fundamental features of quantum mechanics with a significant impact in quantum information processing. In fact, identical particles constitute the building blocks of a reliable quantum network where the entanglement among the parts is to be employed as the essential resource for implementing quantum tasks. However, the characterization of quantum entanglement for identical particles has been a main issue generating a long-standing debate. In particular, whether quantum indistinguishability alone can supply a real exploitable entanglement remains an open question.
We address this problem by using a recent non-standard particle-based approach to deal with identical particles, which does not resort to the usual assignment of fictitious labels to the particles. We find that, when the wave functions of independent non-interacting identical particles spatially overlap, entanglement between the internal states of the particles is produced which is directly utilizable under local operations and classical communication. The amount of this entanglement depends on the spatial overlap. We then show that this entanglement allows the conditional realization of the teleportation protocol between two localized regions within the overlapping one. The presented results prove that entanglement due exclusively to quantum indistinguishability is both physical and operational.