MASMOVIL acquires Neutra in 5G spectrum play

8 Jun 2018

Spanish alternative operator Grupo MASMOVIL has completed the acquisition of Neutra Network Services, after receiving the required authorisation from the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda (Ministerio de Energia, Turismo y Agenda Digital, MINETAD). MASMOVIL notes that the transaction includes a 40MHz block of nationwide spectrum in the 3.4GHz-3.6GHHz band, as well as regional 2.6GHz licences covering Catalonia, Castilla-La Mancha and Andalusia. The deal was priced at EUR15.5 million (USD18.3 million) and includes the B2B player’s fixed-wireless assets, alongside around 100 antennas. Going forward, MASMOVIL hopes to use the spectrum for 5G wireless services, and notes that the financial commitment is less than it would have to pay for similar spectrum in the government’s planned spectrum auction (see below).

TeleGeography notes that MINETAD plans to hold an auction of 5G-suitable 3.6GHz-3.8GHz spectrum in Spain in July this year. The spectrum will be divided into 40 5MHz blocks, each of which will have a starting price of EUR2.5 million. Vodafone’s Spanish unit staged what it claimed was the ‘first 5G call in the world’ with Huawei in February 2018, using 3.7GHz spectrum, while rival Orange Espana has disclosed plans to launch commercial 5G services in four markets in 2019, using a 40MHz block of 3.5GHz spectrum.

Spain, Grupo MASMOVIL (incl. Yoigo), Neutra Network Services