Telefónica España, a subsidiary of Spanish telecommunications group Telefónica (TEF), shut down in 1H2021 a thousand copper telephone exchanges, whose service has been replaced with fibre optic lines.
The Spanish operator began the process of “switching off” copper exchanges and replacing them with fibre exchanges in 2016 and aims to achieve the total shutdown of its copper network by 2024, coinciding with the company’s centenary.
Telefónica Spain’s Chief Operating Officer, Pablo Ledesma, said: “Telefónica began its network transformation process with the closure of exchanges in 2016 and since then, despite adverse circumstances in some years such as the past, it has continued its plan to close copper exchanges and expand fibre to advance the goal of offering the best connectivity to both residential and business customers. Once again Telefónica, which with its fibre deployment has contributed greatly to making Spain the European country with the most fibre optics, is developing its activity in line with the needs of new services and the new generation of 5G mobile telephony.
The sale of its decommissioned copper cable and other waste around the world, mainly in Spain and Brazil, has earned the operator around 131 million euros, according to the operator itself in its 2020 annual report. This figure has been growing as the operator has accelerated the shutdown of copper networks around the world. In 2018, the figure was €18 million, while in 2019 it reached €91 million.