Spanish fixed broadband connections up 5.8% in year to end-October 2013

16 Dec 2013

Spain’s Comision Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) has revealed that, with broadband accesses having risen by 106,838 in October 2013, the most since January 2010, total fixed broadband lines exceeded twelve million for the first time. According to the regulator, as at end-October 2013 there were a total of 12.104 million fixed broadband lines in operation, representing a year-on-year increase of 5.8%. Notably, the CNMC highlighted the fact that of the 106,838 lines added in October, almost a third (34,122 or 32%) were fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connections; at the end of the period under review FTTH broadband lines in operation totalled 543,438, up 88.7% against end-October 2012. Further, according to the regulator’s data, 74% of new broadband lines (79,244) were activated by alternative operators, while cable operators accounted for 13,053 of the new connections in the month. By comparison, fixed line incumbent Telefonica Espana (Movistar) added 14,541 broadband lines in October 2013. Fixed voice lines also rose for the second month in a row, thanks to gains in the residential sector, where 32,996 new connections helped offset a 2,204 drop in fixed lines in the business sector. The CNMC noted that such significant growth in the fixed voice sector had not been seen since June 2008.

In the mobile sector, however, things were less rosy, as the regulator revealed that total connections were down by 102,213 in October 2013, with an increase in the number of post-paid connections failing to offset a drop of 170,188 pre-paid lines and 64,029 datacards. As at end-October 2013 there were a total of 52.03 million mobile lines in Spain, down 3.1% against the same date a year earlier. Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) were the big winners, meanwhile, adding a combined 210,328 customers over the month under review, with such gains increasing their collective share of the market to more than 12% for the first time. In terms of the country’s network operators, all four – Movistar, Vodafone Spain, Orange Espana and Yoigo – saw customer numbers decline. Of the quartet, Movistar lost the highest number of subscribers – 164,404 – while Vodafone, Yoigo and Orange saw declines of 85,001, 33, 479 and 29,657, respectively.