Advanced Television

Spain: Telcos support consolidation for 5G

November 22, 2018

From David Del Valle in Madrid

Spain’s largest telco operators – Movistar, Orange and Vodafone – have given their support to consolidation moves in the market for the development of 5G.

At a meeting organised by trade union UGT, the top managers of the companies said that the number of operators should be reduced with also changes in the regulatory framework.

Emilio Gallo, president of Movistar, explained that in Europe there are 400 mobile companies versus four (with two being merged now) in the US and three in China.

Antonio Coimbra, CEO of Vodafone, said that 5G will require a huge investment that can’t be afforded with so many operators. “The size is very important; we can’t afford such a fragmented market in Europe”.

Gallo pointed out that telco’s revenues have dropped by 24 per cent in Spain over the last few years, 39 per cent in Movistar’s case, due to low cost offers to subscribers. “If the regulation model is not changed we will find it difficult to survive,” he added.

The managers pointed out that the telcos have invested a lot in FTTH networks; Movistar now reaches over 20 million homes, driving Spain to lead FTTH in Europe. But the price battle with low cost promotions are having a negative impact on the companies, said Laurent Paillassot of Orange, who highlighted that the investment per user in Spain is over the average in Europe.

The Government has confirmed that the 5G auction will take place at the beginning of 2020 when the DTT migration will be completed.

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