Spanish cablecos consider joining forces for wireless spectrum bid

2 Dec 2009

Spanish daily Expansion is reporting that the country’s four large cable operators – Ono, Euskaltel, R and Telecable – have begun preliminary talks with a view to forming a unified plan for bidding in the country’s upcoming 2.6GHz auction. With the Spanish government planning to auction frequencies in the 2.6GHz band in the first quarter of next year, the cable quarter have claimed that those operators not present in both the fixed line and wireless sectors will find it difficult to survive. In addition, while Euskaltel, R and Telecable have existing mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) deals with Vodafone Spain, and Ono has a similar agreement with Telefonica Moviles Espana, the cablecos have said that by rolling out their own wireless networks they will be more competitive; the quartet has said that existing wholesale prices for wireless services coupled with the aggressive retail pricing of Spain’s network operators makes it hard for them to remain competitive. According to the report, the Telecommunications Market Commission (CMT) is in favour of the mooted cableco tie-up with regards to the mobile sector.