Telefonica and Orange were the only two bidders to apply to participate in the SMRA bidding at the end of December 2020
The 20 MHz of remaining spectrum in 3400-3600 MHz frequencies was auctioned in less than a day on February 22, 2021. Telefonica and Orange were the only two bidders to apply to participate in the SMRA bidding at the end of December 2020.
Both Telefonica and Orange acquired a licence for a 10 MHz lot at the reserve price of 21 million EUR. Spectrum will be valid until year-end 2038. In 2018, Telefonica and Orange acquired 90 and 100 MHz of 3600-3800 GHz spectrum respectively while Masmovil and Vodafone, which did not participate this time, respectively own 80 and 90 MHz of 3.5 GHz frequencies. On average, players globally paid 2-2.2 cEUR per MHz at 3.5 GHz per inhabitant for a 10-year licence duration.
In the end, Orange appears to be the largest spectrum owner with 110 MHz compared to 100 MHz acquired by Telefonica.
The regulator will now rearrange the band in order to give players contiguous blocks to fully support 5G and quickly increase coverage through DSS and all 5G pioneer bands.
The 700 MHz spectrum auction is expected to start in March 2021. The 26 GHz auction will follow.
The Spanish strategy to promote 5G is a top priority and is part of the Spanish Digital Agenda 2025. It was presented on July 23rd, 2020 alongside with the Spanish Recovery Transformation and Resilience Plan. As part of the strategy, players have to cover 75% of the population by 2025, including in rural areas. The plan is worth 300 million EUR in the general state budget for 2021 and 2 billion EUR until 2025