The operator has bought a majority stake in the rural fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network, increasing its coverage by 1.1 million homes
Last year, Macquarie Capital, Aberdeen Standard Investments and Daiwa Energy & Infrastructure launched a new FTTH wholesale service in Spain under the Onivia brand. At the time, the company was said its fibre network spanned 2,900km and passed just shy of a 1 million homes.
However, this network was highly localised, focussed purely on Spain’s five largest cities – Madrid, Seville, Valencia, Barcelona and Malaga.
Now, Onivia is set to expand on a national level, preparing to double in size following the purchase of a majority stake in MasMovil’s rural fibre network, covering 1.1 million homes. Following the acquisition, Onivia’s network will serve over a thousand municipalities across Spain that have less than 25,000 inhabitants.
The rural network is currently around two-thirds of its planned size, with the final third expected to be built out by 2022.
MasMovil, meanwhile, will retain a minority stake in the network and will continue to use it to serve its own customers, while its rival Orange will also be an anchor customer for Onivia’s independent fibre network.
"This operation confirms Onivia’s commitment to continue growing in footprint, expanding our reach nationwide, helping to close the digital divide between rural and urban areas, and providing an access model to local and regional operators fast and flexible through our Impulsa bitstream service," said José Antonio Vázquez, CEO of Onivia.
When it comes to fibre, Spain is one of the most mature markets in Europe, with FTTH coverage expected to reach 95% by 2022. Nonetheless, rural coverage remains a challenge, with the government requiring operators to guarantee coverage of 30 Mbps or higher for at least 90% of citizens living in population units of less than 5,000 inhabitants.
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