These three operators already received good news recently, when it was reported that they will be able to share the remaining spectrum after the merger of Orange and MásMóvil, but now they are going to have a Expansion of radioelectric spectrum concessions for mobile telephony in Spain.
More years of concession
This extension measure appears in the second transitional provision of the General Telecommunications Law approved in 2022, which allows the extension of licenses without any economic consideration.
Thus, also following the guidelines of the new Electronic Communications Code of the European Union, the term of the concessions was 20 years, but the new law established a maximum period of up to 40 years.
The result of LGTel’s approval is that the new tenders that have been called after its approval, such as the one for the 700 MHz frequency band, already included a term of 40 years instead of the previous 20 years. Thus, the change will be expressly for the prior concessions to this Law.
The ministry chaired by Nadia Calviño begins the procedure to approve the extension for about ten years of the radioelectric spectrum concessions of six frequency bands for mobile telephony. To this end, the first step that has been taken has been to open a public consultation that allows the processing of these concession extensions for the main operators in our country to begin.
Movistar, Orange, Vodafone and vital frequencies
After the approval of this extension of concessions, the vital frequencies used by operators for 2G, 4G and 5G services will be extended for an average of ten years. This implies that the frequency bands of 800 and 900 MHz, or 1.8, 2.1 and 2.6 GHz, which originally expired between 2028 and 2030 are now extended until 2040.
The 3.5 GHz frequencies, key to guarantee both capacity and functionality and speed of the 5G, extended until 2040 and 2048. Previously they expired between 2030 and 2038.
These changes are intended to “strengthen telephone companies and eliminate obstacles that hinder their investments and the implementation of advanced networks necessary for competitiveness.” In this way, Vodafone, Movistar and Orange customers will not have to worry about the future.
In this consultation, the Ministry of Economy argues its decision by pointing out that the extension of the concessions “It is intended to promote the deployment of modern and innovative electronic communication networks, encourage investment and consolidate Spain’s leadership in connectivity. The extension of the duration of the concessions for the use of the radioelectric public domain (…) confers greater stability in the exploitation of these frequencies of the radioelectric spectrum for the operators and favors that the operators can amortize the investments required over a longer period of time the telecommunications industry”.