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Vodafone Spain Secures Spectrum to Deliver New Services for Customers

The Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade has awarded LTE spectrum in the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands to Telefónica, Orange and Vodafone, raising EUR1.65 million. Vodafone paid EUR518 million for 20 MHz in the 800 MHz band and 40 MHz in the 2.6 GHz band. The operator was allowed by the regulator to re-farm some of its 900 MHz GSM spectrum for LTE services in rural areas. Its 800 MHz allocation will become available after digital switchover has been completed in Spain in 2014. Telefónica won five frequency blocks in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz and 2.6 GHz spectrum bands for EUR668.3 million, while Orange paid EUR437 million for spectrum in the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands.

Vodafone Spain has been awarded a total of 60 MHz (2x30 MHz) 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 in rural areas.

The spectrum award will support Vodafone Spain’s plans to develop the next generation of wireless data services, known as Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. LTE transforms the customer experience of the mobile internet, offering high-speed data access and rich multimedia services. In developing LTE services, Vodafone Spain will draw on the experience of Vodafone Germany, which launched LTE towards the end of 2010.

Vodafone Spain bid successfully for a total of 20 MHz (2x10 MHz) in the 800 MHz band and 40 MHz (2x20MHz) in 2.6 GHz band for a total consideration of €518 million (£454 million1). The 800 MHz ‘digital dividend’ spectrum will become available in 2014 after the switchover from analogue to all-digital TV broadcasting in Spain. The 2.6 GHz spectrum band is immediately available for use.

Additionally, Vodafone Spain will began 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 900 MHz frequency band currently used for 2G services. The Company has already begun to deploy versatile single Radio Access Network (RAN) base stations designed to handle 2G, 3G and LTE technologies on a common shared platform.

The additional spectrum and ongoing network investments will enable Vodafone Spain 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%.