In recent years the value of Spain’s telecom market has fallen steadily, with the sector affected by the poor economic climate which has contributed to high unemployment and reduced disposable income among consumers. However, a five-year recession, with tumbling GDP, effectively ended in 2014 when the economy showed a steady return to growth for four quarters in succession. Growing confidence among investors was palpable starting in 2015, and the improved business climate augurs well for the sector into 2017.
Spain has one of the largest mobile markets in Europe, with effective competition from four MNOs and a growing number of resellers and MVNOs. This competition, together with regulated roaming and MTRs, has driven down the cost of mobile calls in recent years though the number of subscribers has fallen since 2011 as customers cancel multiple SIM card ownership in response to the economic crisis. The market has seen considerable changes in recent years, including the acquisition of Yoigo by Másmóvil and the release of 900MHz frequencies for mobile broadband use. There have also been growing investments in network upgrades to support LTE and HSPA+ technologies, while MNOs and vendors are also investing in 5G technologies and services. The auction of additional spectrum in 2016 is helping operators keep pace with the growth in demand for mobile data. Both Orange Spain and Vodafone Spain have acquired fixed-line operators in a bid to compete more effectively with Movistar in their bundled service offerings.
Broadband penetration is on a par with the EU average. Subscribers continue to contend with relatively high access price, though access speeds have recently begun to improve in line with upgraded networks. The incumbent telco Telefónica, operating under the Movistar brand, has invested in fibre infrastructure while cablecos now commonly provide data at up to 300Mb/s. The regulator has in recent years promoted fibre network sharing, and has developed a pricing structure for shared fibre infrastructure. In early 2017 it formulated new conditions for wholesale access to Telefónica’s fibre networks covering some 65% of the population. In the cable sector, Vodafone Spain is in the process of delivering DOSCIS3.1 technology capable of providing data at above 1Gb/s.
The strong growth in the number of fibre broadband connections is beginning to tell on the sector’s dynamics. Although several operators are investing in fibre, either in their own networks or through sharing arrangements, Telefónica is by far the dominant player.
This report introduces the key aspects of the Spanish telecom market, providing statistics on the fixed-network services sector, and profiling the main players and their strategies to meet an increasingly competitive environment. The report also assesses the main regulatory issues, noting the status of interconnection, local loop unbundling, number portability and carrier preselection. In addition the report provides statistics and market analyses on the mobile sector, including an assessment of regulatory issues, a profile of the major providers, and an analysis of mobile data services such as SMS, MMS, i-mode, HSPA, LTE, 5G and mobile TV. The report also covers the fixed and wireless broadband markets, together with developments in related technologies such as fibre and broadband powerline. It includes broadband subscriber forecasts to 2021.
For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Spain – Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media – Statistics and Analyses
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