The number of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) lines in Spain reached 4.5 million in October 2016, according to the latest figures from competition watchdog CNMC (Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia).
That represents a month-on-month increase of 155,180 lines. On an annual basis, the number of FTTH lines increased by 1.8 million, compared to a loss of 1.4 million DSL lines. Telefónica's Movistar unit still accounts for the bulk of FTTH lines at 2.9 million.
The total number of fixed broadband lines increased by 79,386 to a total of 13.6 million, equating to a ratio of 29.3 lines per 100 inhabitants (compared to 28.1 a year ago).
Movistar, Orange Spain and Vodafone España S.A. account for around 95% of total broadband lines, according to CNMC. All three players have placed a strong focus on fixed-mobile convergence, with both Orange and Vodafone beefing up their fixed assets in recent years.
For example, Vodafone acquired cable operator ONO after winning approval for the €7.2 billion (US$7.4 billion) deal from the European Commission in June 2014. (See Eurobites: Vodafone Gets a Yes on ONO.)
In 2015, Orange followed suit with the €3.4 billion purchase of fixed operator Jazztel. As part of the deal, the group was forced to sell a fiber network representing 720,000 building units, largely comprising what the carrier describes as "redundant connections between the existing networks of Orange and Jazztel."
(See Eurobites: Orange Sets Out Spanish FTTH Vision, Eurobites: Orange Sells Off Jazztel Assets and Eurobites: Jazztel Shareholders Say Yes to Orange Bid.)
Masmovil eventually snapped up those assets, and has also subsequently acquired Yoigo, Spain's fourth-largest mobile operator. The company believes the combination of its existing assets with Yoigo's mobile network will enable it to challenge Telefónica, Orange Spain and Vodafone España S.A. in the market for converged fixed and mobile services. (See Telia to Raise $706M From Yoigo Sale.)
In terms of the Spanish mobile market, CNMC said the total number of lines providing both voice and broadband services increased by 7.5% year-on-year in October 2016 and represented 77% of all mobile lines in Spain (51.35 million).
— Anne Morris, Associate Editor, UBB2020