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Spanish cable operators team up to create mobile networks

Spain’s leading cable operators Ono, Euskaltel, Telecable and R have joined forces to bid for mobile frequencies to offer both traditional mobile voice services and mobile broadband.

The agreement between the operators is the first of its kind in Spain. The cable providers intend to bid for frequencies in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz range in order to compete on an equal footing with mobile players in the country including Movistar, Vodafone, Orange and Yoigo.

New frequencies are expected to be released next year, and the cable operators also want to take advantage of any ‘refarming’ of frequencies for uses for which they were not originally planned. Currently cable operators have to use the networks of Vodafone, Movistar and Orange to offer mobile services.

The cable operators have called on the Spanish ministry of industry, tourism and trade, which will assign new frequencies, to take advantage of an opportunity to improve competition in the market, and have cited competition regulator the CNC’s recent warning that new frequencies should not be awarded to the incumbent mobile players.