Orange, Telefonica share remaining 3.5GHz spectrum in Spain

23 Feb 2021

Orange Espana and Telefonica Espana (Movistar) have been named as the winning bidders in Spain’s auction of unsold spectrum licences in the 3.5GHz band, which took place yesterday (22 February). Each 1×10MHz licence had a starting price of EUR21 million (USD25.4 million) and the lack of rival bidders meant that the floor price was applied to both spectrum permits, which will be valid until 2038.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation (Ministerio de Asuntos Economicos y Transformacion Digital, MINECO) had previously noted that a reorganisation of the 3.5GHz band will be carried out post-auction, so that all operators are in possession of contiguous frequency blocks, enabling a more efficient use of the spectrum for 5G.

Confirming the development, Orange notes that it now owns a total of 110MHz in the 3.5GHz range. The operator says it will target 51% 5G coverage by end-2021 and over 90% in 2022, via a combination of Non-Standalone (NSA) and Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) configurations. Orange’s 5G footprint currently covers 15% of the population (121 locations in 38 provinces).