|Telefónica reiterates its commitment to a “digital Spain”|
Antonio Viana-Baptista, General Manager for Telefónica España, reiterated today the Company's commitment to achieving a "Digital Spain" during his speech at the closing ceremony of the UIMP's 21st Telecommunications Conference.
The outlook for the Spanish telecommunications sector is bright, with mobile telephony penetration set to reach 130%, over half of Spanish households to have fixed broadband access and 70% of laptop computers to be equipped with wireless broadband. Against this backdrop, Telefónica is striving to constantly improve its affordable and quality product and service offering, while taking steps to expand fixed and mobile broadband infrastructure to include areas with less accessibility.
Mr. Viana-Baptista explained that Telefónica boasts the best broadband offering in the market, yet continues to work to make its product and services even more competitive by achieving higher coverage levels and speeds. In fact, the Company already has a network capable of offering fixed broadband speeds of up to 10Mbps to half of Spain’s households and has begun test piloting speeds of 30Mbps in Madrid and Barcelona.
Aware of the need to bring down entry barriers to the "digital environment", Telefónica is focusing on alternative offers to allow for the massive inclusion of new customers to digital services. These endeavours come alongside the Company’s commitment to meeting all the quality requirements of consumers. In fact, the Company currently offers the highest quality ADSL access in Spain and boasts the highest global satisfaction levels among mobile telephone users.
Meanwhile, Telefónica is continuing with efforts to expand the new fixed and mobile broadband services. The aim is to provide rural broadband to 50,000 cities and towns in 2007 and guarantee GSM coverage to over 3,300 towns with populations of under 1,000 and along the country’s major transportation routes. The Company already offers UMTS coverage in all cities with populations of over 15,000 and HSDPA in all cities with over 20,000. At least 10 towns have access to next generation HSUPA mobility.
The new Digital Spain offers opportunities and challenges
Mr. Viana-Baptista stressed that Telefónica is firmly committed to a Digital Spain, which means a sustained investment effort over time. Within a stimulating regulatory framework, Telefónica has ratified its 4-year 9 billion euro investment plan (2006-09) to transform the fixed access network, expand 3G mobile networks and develop new services, systems and platforms tailored to customers' needs.
The new Digital Spain will bring a host of opportunities and challenges for the industry. By the end of this decade, the transformation of the fixed access network should mean that at least a quarter of all Spanish households have access to speeds of up to 100Mbps, 40% to fixed broadband speeds of 25Mbps and more than 80% to 10Mbps, while all Spanish cities with populations of over 2,000 will have access to HSDPA mobile technology.
All this heralds myriad new opportunities in the provision of fixed and mobile broadband services and features, which are the real backbone of the new Digital Society.