Spanish 900MHz reallocation talks falter

26 Nov 2009

Talks between Spain’s mobile network operators over the reallocation of spectrum in the 900MHz band have reportedly fallen apart, according to Trading Markets. Citing local press reports it is understood that Bernardo Lorenzo, the director general for telecommunications at the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce revealed the halt in talks, claiming that it was ‘frustrating’ that the operators remained unable to agree on the redistribution of the spectrum. The announcement comes after the Telecommunications Market Commission (CMT), the country’s telecoms regulator, met with representatives from a number of the major cellcos earlier this week.

In total Spain has 35MHz in the 900MHz band to distribute, of which Telefonica Moviles Espana (Movistar) uses 16.5MHz, Vodafone Spain 12.5MHz and Orange Espana 6MHz. The country’s fourth mobile network operator Xfera Moviles, which offers services under the Yoigo banner has yet to be allocated frequencies in the band, and has said it would like 5MHz in order to meet its future technology needs. Movistar and Vodafone however are reluctant to give up any of their existing allocations, while Orange claims that its own share remains insufficient for its needs.

Lorenzo reportedly said that he was confident however that an agreement would be reached soon, and argued that the consensus should be based on ‘the public interest, the balance between investments and the elimination of market distortions’. Yoigo CEO Johan Andsjo meanwhile has called for a mediator to be brought in with a view to resolving the matter.