2009 Spain - Telecoms, IP Networks and Digital Media

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Last updated: 12 Aug 2009 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 105

Publication Overview

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the trends and developments in fixed-line and mobile telephony, broadband, digital media, convergence and new technologies in Spain. Subjects include:

·         Key country and telecom statistics;

·         Market and industry overviews;

·         Regulatory environment;

·         Major players (fixed and mobile);

·         Infrastructure;

·         Mobile voice and data markets;

·         Digital TV;

·         Converging media, including VoIP, VoD and IPTV;

·         Broadband (fixed and mobile).


Researcher:- Henry Lancaster

Current publication date:- August 2009 (8th Edition)

Next publication date:- August 2010

Executive Summary

BuddeComm’s annual publication, Spain - Telecoms, IP Networks and Digital Media, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media markets in Spain.


Spain has one of Europe’s largest telecom markets, worth some €42.8 billion in 2008 and accounting for 4% of GDP. The market fell by more than 3% in the year as the effects of regulated pricing and competition took hold. Nevertheless, the mobile and broadband sectors continue to show some dynamism, largely as a result of investment in networks. Spain is expected to show slower growth in its ITC sector in 2009, following a 4.9% growth in 2008, but will still lead most European markets. The overall telecoms market is expected to grow by about 0.5% in 2009, suggesting that the economic crisis will have a real but relatively limited impact.


Following an initially slow take-up of Local Loop Unbundling, alternative operators have since expedited their efforts and now the proportion of subscribers these operators for direct access is one of the highest in the EU. In addition, the trend towards market consolidation and the entry of the first MVNOs have resulted in several integrated operators providing greater infrastructure competition.


Spain – Key telecom parameters – 2004; 2008




Fixed-line service:

Total subscribers (million)



Annual change



Fixed-line penetration (population)




Subscribers (million)



Annual change



Broadband penetration (population)



Mobile services:

Total subscribers (million)



Annual change



Mobile penetration (population)



(Source: BuddeComm)


Key highlights:

·         Spain’s digital switchover began in June 2009. With a scheduled completion date of April 2010, by mid-2009 about 60% of households already had digital TV. Satellite provides digital access to remote areas.

·         In mid-2009 the government resurrected DVB-H mobile TV, two years after its initial market failure, with a digital mux to provide twenty channels. Uncertain business model will provide operators with considerable challenges in coming years.

·         Following disputed fibre access regulations, EC intervention in January 2009 obliged the regulator to allow wholesale access for fibre services above 30Mb/s. This allows alternative operators with access to Telefónica’s ducts and infrastructure, and at non-discriminatory wholesale prices. The move will greatly improve Spain’s fibre penetration in coming years.

·         Spain’s market for bundled services is growing quickly, with services offered from Jazztel, Sogecable, Telefónica and ONO. By mid-2009 about 87% of Telefónica’s subscribers took a bundled service.

·         The 3G market has seen great changes, including the launch of services from Yoigo and the release of 900MHz frequencies for 3G services, promising considerable future growth for mobile broadband.


Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.


The following notes provide some background to our scenario forecasting methodology:

  • This report includes what we term scenario forecasts. By describing long-range scenarios we identify a band within which we expect market growth to occur. The associated text describes what we see as the most likely growth trend within this band.
  • The projections shown in the tables in this report are based on our own historical information, as well as on telecommunication sector statistics from official and non-official, national and international sources. We assume a possible deviation of 15-20% around this data.
  • All statistics for GDP, revenue, etc are shown in US$, in order to maintain consistency within and between markets. At the same time we acknowledge that this can introduce some irregularities.

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