Telefonica sets eyes on MasOrange spectrum 


The talks come as MasOrange are forced to sell its excess spectrum under European Union law 

Telefonica has entered into talks with the newly merged telco MasOrange over spectrum ownership, according to a report from Spanish news source Expansión.  

The merger of Orange Spain and MasMovil, worth €18.6 billion, was approved by the European Commission (EC) in February this year, following a long regulatory investigation. 

Last month, Spanish business newspaper El Economista first reported that Spanish operators Orange and MasMovil were set to name their newly consolidated business ‘MasOrange’.  

The merger is set to create the country’s largest operator and would leave it with more allocated spectrum than is allowed under EU law. Therefore, in December, rival operator Digi agreed to acquire €120 million worth of spectrum from the two companies, thereby allowing the proposed merger to get the green light from regulators. 

The spectrum acquired by Digi was 2x10MHz in the 1,800MHz band, 2x10MHz in the 2.1GHz band, and 20MHz in the 3.5GHz band. The acquired spectrum will allow Digi to become the fourth national mobile operator in the Spanish market, a move regulators say is crucial to maintaining healthy competition. 

However, despite the sale, MasOrange still need to get divest of 30MHz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band.  

Now, Telefonica are taking advantage of the opportunity, given that the merged entity is “obliged to get rid of that spectrum”, according to the Expansión report. 

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