While our awards table has seen little change since our last report, a great deal has been happening in the Spanish mobile market, particularly in terms of 5G rollout.
In early June, Yoigo announced that its 5G network covered more than 340 cities and municipalities across 39 provinces, while in mid-May Movistar’s 5G network reportedly hit the 80% mark for coverage. Movistar expects that its copper network will be fully replaced by fibre in 2025 and will switch off its 3G network in the same year. Back in March, Vodafone said that it had rolled out its 5G network to four new locations — Toledo, Castellon de la Plana, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria — taking the total number of markets covered to 25.
In May, Orange said that its 5G services were live in 442 towns and cities across 48 provinces, covering 28% of the population. The operator expects to hit the 50% mark by the end of 2021, rising to 90% by 2022.
The auction of spectrum in the 700 MHz band has finished. Vodafone won a 2×10MHz block of spectrum, while Movistar has snapped up the same. Vodafone paid slightly more than Movistar — €350 million ($412.7 million) versus €310.1 million. Orange bought two separate 2x 5 MHz blocks at a combined cost of €350 million. The Spanish government has attached a number of coverage obligations. Around 450 locations must receive coverage by the end of June 2025, (30% of these by the end of 2022 and 70% by July 2024). 700 MHz rollouts across Spain’s 10 main airports, three main ports, six main railway stations and eight main highways must take place before the end of 2022.
5G presents operators with an opportunity to significantly improve their users’ mobile experience and disrupt the status quo. 5G non-standalone access (NSA) networks require users with 5G devices to also connect to 4G when using 5G services. Therefore, operators which have invested heavily in their 4G networks will gain an advantage in this regard until 5G standalone access (SA) technology becomes widely used. As Spain moves further into the 5G era, we will continue to shed light on the mobile experience of our users. Opensignal will publish its first 5G user experience report in Spain as soon as 5G adoption in the country becomes widespread.
In this report, we’ve analyzed the mobile experience of our Spanish users across all four national operators — Movistar, Orange, Vodafone and Yoigo — over the 90 day period starting March 1, 2021 and ending May 29, 2021. Our results include measurements from 5G devices.