The telecom operators Movistar, Orange and Vodafone have agreed to form an alliance to bid together for the deployment of 4G and 5G mobile networks in rural areas, financed with European reconstruction funds, according to economic newspaper Expansión.
The idea would be to create an alliance – the legal form has not yet been defined – that would allow the three operators to submit a joint bid for European aids, which are expected to earmark up to 4.32 billion euros between 2021 and 2025 for the deployment of networks.
Specifically, Movistar, Vodafone and Orange would build between 3,000 and 4,500 new radio sites, adding an extra 15% and 23% to the existing ones. The three operators have already used a similar method (the three-way pact) in the past for the 800Mhz auction, and now they are negotiating a similar agreement for the 700Mhz.
The deal according to Expansión, does not affect fiber optics, because Telefonica discarded this option, considering that it has more real estate units than the rest.
The telecos’ plan contemplates dividing Spain into three zones, in each of which every operator will be responsible. This, in turn, will allow the other two to rent the network in order to reach customers.