Orange Spain exceeds 5G annual coverage goals


Orange Spain ended September with a total of 1.47 million subscribers in the 5G segment

Spanish operator Orange already deployed its 5G services in 1,529 towns and cities in 52 provinces across Spain, surpassing its initial target for the full year, the carrier said in a statement.

According to the European carrier, its 5G network infrastructure reached 68.7% of the Spanish population as of the end of the third quarter.

Orange previously said it expected its 5G network to reach 1,500 localities by the end of 2022.

The telco ended September with a total of 1.47 million subscribers in the 5G segment, after a net addition of 850,000 over the last 12 months.

Orange Spain is currently offering 5G services through frequencies in the 3.5 GHz and 700 MHz bands.

Earlier this year, when Orange announced its deployment of 5G in the 700 MHz band, it said it would offer this technology progressively over the course of 2022 in more than 1,100 towns and cities, 820 of them having between 1,000 and 50,000 citizens.

Orange noted it has accelerated the deployment of 5G in the 700 MHz band during the third quarter of the year and now this technology already reaches 1,212 towns and cities across Spain.

In the last spectrum auction, Orange secured 2×10 megahertz in the 700 MHz band, which adds to the 110 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band already owned by Orange. The company invested a total of 523 million euros (currently $526 million) in the acquisition of these frequencies.

The operator launched commercial 5G services in Spain in September of 2020, using NonStandalone (NSA) architecture.

During a presentation of the telco’s quarterly results, Orange Spain’s CEO, Jean Francoise Fallacher, said that the merger with rival operator MásMóvil should be approved without conditions as he considered that the Spanish market is very competitive, with eight operators that bill more than 100 million euros a year. “It would go from eight to seven operators and not from four to three,” said Fallacher, who added that the transaction will not affect any infrastructure operator, as MásMóvil had already sold almost all of its network assets.

The executive noted that the main goal of the merger is to create a large operator capable of continuing to invest in fiber optics and 5G. “There is a consolidation trend throughout Europe, and the whole world is watching what is happening in Spain,” he said.

In July this year, Orange and Masmovil had signed a binding agreement to combine their operations in Spain.

The telcos had started negotiations in early March of this year. The transaction is subject to approval from antitrust and other regulatory review and is expected to close during the second half of 2023. The file has already been registered with the European Commission.

Under the terms of the deal, the 50-50 joint venture stipulates that both operators will have equal governance rights in the combined entity. The agreement also includes a right to trigger an IPO under certain conditions for both parties after a defined period and, in such a scenario, an option for Orange to take control of the combined entity.

The companies’ due diligence process conducted since March shows potential synergies in excess of 450 million euros per year to be reached by the fourth year post closing of the merger.


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