Spain’s mobile market leader Movistar’s parent company Telefonica has announced a series of agreements with rival cellco Xfera Moviles (Yoigo) under which Movistar will offer 4G services over Yoigo’s in-deployment LTE network. In return for granting Movistar access to its infrastructure, it has been confirmed that Yoigo will be able to market a converging product with its mobile services and Movistar’s fixed voice and broadband services. Further, the agreements also include the renewal of an existing national roaming deal under which Yoigo uses Movistar’s 2G and 3G networks; with the original contract having been signed back in 2008, the extension will see roaming permitted until 2016.
With specific reference to the mobile network collaboration, Telefonica has confirmed that it will gain access to Yoigo’s LTE network which the smaller operator is building using its 2×10MHz of 1800MHz spectrum. Yoigo is said to be aiming to extend its network footprint to 48% of the population by the end of 2013, with all cities with more than 70,000 inhabitants to be covered by that date. To ensure optimal speeds can be offered over the 4G network it has been revealed that the agreement between the two operators also includes the use of Movistar’s transport network. Alongside using Yoigo’s 4G network, however, Movistar has confirmed that it will still look to roll out its own LTE infrastructure using the 800MHz frequencies that it was awarded in 2011, along with 900MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum. Further, Telefonica, Yoigo and Abertis have inked an agreement to restructure and rationalise the existing mobile infrastructure belonging to both Movistar and Yoigo, under which Abertis will acquire at least 4,227 passive infrastructures from the duo for EUR385 million (USD510 million), and dismantling those that can be optimised. After this acquisition, Telefónica and Yoigo’s equipment will be hosted on the same infrastructures. Both parties hope to start implementing this preliminary agreement in the final quarter of 2013.
The distribution agreement between Movistar and Yoigo, meanwhile, will allow the latter to offer its customers an integrated fixed line and mobile product, similar to the ‘Fusion’ product that the incumbent launched last October. The Fusion service combines landline and broadband with one or more mobile lines, including the subscription fee, at a set price, with unified customer service and a single bill.