|Research by Country/Region
January 19, 2018
|Spain: Broadband Fixed Wireless Access |
A. CURRENT GOVERNMENT POLICY GOVERNING ACCESS TO THE WORLDWIDE FIXED WIRELESS ACCESS BAND (3.4 TO 3.7 GHZ), LMDS (28 TO 31GHZ) AND UNLICENSED BANDS
In the frequency band of 3.4 to 3.6 GHz in Spain, there are 4 existing operators with licenses to provide point-to-multipoint services.
In the frequency band of 24.5 to 26.5 GHz, there are 5 operators with licenses to provide point-to-multipoint services.
In both frequency bands there are no additional possibilities to offer new licenses.
The 28 to 31 GHz is assigned to other uses, mainly related to satellite based communications and applications, as can be seen in the attached Spanish frequency allocation table.
The frequency bands that can be accessed by systems via radio without a license are the following:
· The band of 2.4 GHz (2400 – 2483.5 MHz) can be used for Local Area Networks (RLAN) in enclosed environments with a maximum of 100 Mw, and complying with the technical specifications of the Recommendation CEPT/ERC 70-30 annex 3. This usage does not require license for the use of the spectrum.
· At present, a modification of the National Frequency Allocation Table is being considered, so that the band of 5GHz could be used as well for WI-FI systems. In this modification the sub-band 5150-5350 MHz and the sub-band 5470-5725 MHz. could have some further adjustments, depending on the decisions of CMR-2003.
B. DEMAND OR NEED FOR BFW SERVICES
There is demand for BFW services, although the development of the BFW market in Spain has not fulfilled the industry expectations for growth. The companies are focusing on data transmission for the business sector, focusing on between 2,000-3,000 companies, as well as offering a last mile solution for fixed telecom operators. A recent program focused on bringing Digital communications and broadband to the rural areas, that is expected to cover 236,000 clients, will be mostly covered through BFW technology.
The requirements to obtain an individual telecommunications license are basically specified on the Ministry of Science and Telecommunications’ Ministerial Order of September 22, 1998, that establishes the applicable regulation for individual licenses to telecommunications services and networks, and the conditions that have to be observed by the companies. In this case, a company needs to obtain the general individual license, and as a user of the radio electrical spectrum, a specific license. Basically the request implies providing detailed technical and economic information to the Telecommunications Market Commission, which alongside the Ministry of Science and Technology, will answer in an estimated 1-4 months period.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Spanish Government has announced plans to approve a new Telecommunications Law before the end of the year that will significantly change current legislation governing the Telecom sector, and potentially BFW regulation.
The proposed law will implement the new telecommunications legislation sanctioned by the European Union, and at the same time significantly change the underlying structure of the current Spanish regulation: one of the stated objectives of the new law is to reduce the intervention of the Public Administration on market initiatives and thereby facilitate the launching of new companies. In the past, heavy governmental regulation has been blamed with slowing the effectiveness of the liberalization process in the Spanish telecommunications market.
Although changes to the current draft might occur during the approval process for the new legislation, some points to be highlighted at this moment are:
· Elimination of the existing system of licenses and authorizations for companies that would like to provide telecommunications services. Instead, companies that would like to operate in the market will just have to be registered with the Telecommunications Market Commission (CMT), and abide by strict quality parameters for service delivery that will be defined later. If the companies do not adhere to those parameters, they will face heavy sanctions by the Telecommunications Market Commission.
· Spectrum trading will be allowed in certain circumstances. This aspect of the law seems specifically aimed at the ailing LMDS operators and Xfera, one of the third generation mobile service providers. A special agency might be created to oversee spectrum exchange among operators.
· The definition of dominant telecommunications operators is going to be redefined, and instead of being technology-based is going to be determined by operator dominance in specific markets. These operators will be detected and determined by the Spanish Telecommunications Market Commission (CMT).
· A redistribution of authority between the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Telecommunications Market Commission is also being considered, with the aim of eliminating conflicting decisions regarding the Telecom market.
Questions related to license procedure can be addressed directly to:
Comision del Mercado de las Telecomunicaciones (Telecommunications Market Comission)
Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología (Ministry of Science and Technology)
Secretaria de Estado de Telecomunicaciones y para la sociedad de la información
Director General de Planificación y Gestion del espectro radioelectrico
Palacio de Comunicaciones
D. FOREIGN OWNERSHIP LIMITS
The Spanish telecommunications market is liberalized, and is following the E.U. trends towards further liberalization. There are no limitations to the participation of foreign capital in BFW service providers, and U.S. companies were already involved in different ventures in this area. There are no restrictions in this case on the type of services that the companies can offer, only limited by their license.
E. INTERCONNECTION TARIFFS
Interconnection issues with the denominated as dominant players in the market are regulated, and offers equal access. Relationship with other telcos is based on mutual agreement.
F. OTHER POLICIES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING BFW
There is a tax for the use of the radioelectrical spectrum.
G. TO WHAT EXTENT ARE BFW SERVICES BEING OFFERED BY DOMESTIC OR INTERNATIONAL FIRMS?
Although there have been changes since the launch of most BFW service providers, it can be estimated that half of the companies nowadays are to a certain degree controlled by international companies and the other half is controlled by domestic companies.
H. CURRENT LIST OF BFW ACCESS PROVIDERS
Companies require a license to provide BFW services. The spectrum available is limited, and the Spanish Government decided in 1999 to initiate a process to award six licenses by early 2000, in a bidding process. There were three licenses in the 26 GHz, and another three in the 3.4-3.6 GHz. Apart from these, three companies had been provided with licenses and spectrum to complement their own fixed network and to facilitate competition in the fixed telecommunications market: Retevision, Uni2 and Euskaltel. The licenses were awarded for twenty years, with a further ten years extension. Most companies started operations in early 2001.
· Frequency: 26 y 3.5 GHz
· Combines activity with Iberdrola (Fiber Optic) and Astra (Satellite)
· Supplier: Alcatel
Banda Ancha (BASA) (established by Alo Communications)
· 3.5 GHz frequency
· Shareholders: Alo Comunicaciones (42,9%), Grupo Dragados (28,55%), HidroCantabrico (28,55%).
· Previously owned by UNITED PAN EUROPEAN COMMUNICATIONS N.V.
· Supplier: Ericsson, Alvarion
Frequency: 26 GHz
Part of Jazztel group http://www.jazztel.es
IBERBANDA (Previously Firstmark)
· Frequency: 3.5 GHz
· Stockholders: Grupo el Corte Ingles, Grupo Prisa, Secotel, Omega Capital, Caja Duero, Ibercaja, Caja de Huelva y Sevilla, Caja San Fernando, Diario de Burgos.
· Suppliers: Siemens, Nortel, Floware.
BROADNET CONSORCIO, S.A.
· Frequency: 26 GHz
· Company created on November 17, 1999.
· Shareholders: Broadnet Holdings (Comcast), Tor 26, Cobra (Grupo ACS), Bankinter, J.P. Morgan, Mercapital
· Backbone based on ATM technology
I. CERTIFICATION PROCEDURES, AND IMPORT DUTIES
Spain is part of the European Union, and regulation in this matter reflects EU regulation.
This page was last updated on 10/09/2003. This site is operated by the Office of Technology and Electronic Commerce (OTEC) division of the International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.