Telefónica wireless broadband deal blocked

30 Jan 2006

Spain’s Council of Ministers has reinforced a recommendation from the coutry’s antitrust court, the TDC, opposing Telefónica’s planned purchase of a majority stake in wireless broadband operator Iberbanda. Telefónica struck a deal with Iberbanda shareholders in August 2005, but in December the TDC recommended that the government veto the deal over fears of stifling competition in the country’s broadband market.

Iberbanda was awarded a licence to provide services via local multipoint distribution system (LMDS) in 2000 and launched commercial WiMAX services in Andalucia in southern Spain in the final quarter of last year. The company plans to offer wireless broadband internet access and VoIP telephony with bandwidth of up to 10Mbps in areas not currently covered by fixed broadband technologies such as ADSL.

Spain, Telefonica Espana (Movistar)