Vodafone Spain has announced a wholesale access agreement to use Telefonica’s fibre-optic network in areas not reached by its own network. The unprecedented deal not only covers the non-competitive areas in which Telefonica is required to provide access under the CNMC’s recently-approved regulation, but in others not covered by the wholesale obligations, according Telecompaper. The non-competitive areas correspond to 65 percent of the country and exclude Spain’s 66 largest cities, but under the terms of the new commercial agreement Vodafone will now be able to immediately expand its fibre-optic coverage and offer 300 Mbps symmetric broadband and pay-TV in millions more homes across the country.
Although Vodafone has increased its fibre-optic coverage to 9.5 million homes thanks in part to its 2014 takeover of Ono, its footprint still pales in comparison with Telefonica’s 16.4 million. The brief statement discloses no information of specific cities or areas to be covered under the new access deal or the financial details involved other than that it will be based on purchase commitments over a five-year period.
The last major wholesale access agreement was that signed by Spain's other two network providers, Orange and MasMovil, at the end of last year. Orange had a total of 9.0 million households with FTTH connectivity at the end of Q3 2016 and recently announced that its fibre network will reach 14 million Spanish households by the end of 2019, one year earlier than planned.