Vodafone Spain has been awarded a total of 60MHz (2 x 30MHz) of new spectrum in the Spanish government’s auction, enabling the company to provide its customers with enhanced mobile internet services across the country, including rural areas.
The spectrum award will support Vodafone Spain’s plans to develop LTE (Long Term Evolution) services, offering high-speed data access and rich multimedia services. In developing LTE services, Vodafone Spain says it will draw on the experience of Vodafone Germany, which launched LTE towards the end of 2010.
Vodafone Spain bid successfully for a total of 20MHz (2 x 10MHz) in the 800MHz band, and 40MHz (2 x 20MHz) in the 2.6GHz band for a total consideration of €518m (£454m ). The 800MHz ‘digital dividend’ spectrum will become available in 2014, after the switchover from analogue to all-digital TV broadcasting in Spain. The 2.6GHz spectrum band is immediately available for use.
Additionally, Vodafone Spain will begin to offer 3G mobile internet access to customers in rural areas by the end of 2011, after receiving approval from the Spanish government to re-farm spectrum in the 900MHz frequency band currently used for 2G services. The company has already begun to deploy single Radio Access Network (RAN) base stations that designed to handle 2G, 3G and LTE technologies on a common shared platform.
The operator says the additional spectrum and ongoing network investments will enable it to build on its success in delivering the mobile internet to its customers. Over the last financial year, Vodafone Spain saw strong growth in the uptake of smartphones and mobile internet services, helping to boost data revenue growth (excluding content revenue) by around 22 per cent.