MasOrange splashes the cash in Spain

MasOrange is clearly determined to show that its existence as a merged entity will benefit the Spanish market, announcing the best part of €1 billion in investments in a couple of key regions.

Mary Lennighan

July 5, 2024

3 Min Read

The newly-merged mobile operator – Orange and MasMovil came together in Spain just over three months ago – this week detailed its spending plans for Andalusia and the Basque Country.

As ever, with this type of announcement, it's difficult to tell whether these investments would have happened quietly behind the scenes anyway. But a new operator will always want to shout about its spending and legitimise its existence, particular where competition concerns have been raised.

There's not a lot to go on in MasOrange's announcements, but they are worth noting, if nothing else because they indicate that Spain's new telecoms market leader is not resting on its laurels.

The big disclosure from MasOrange is a spend of €700 million-plus over three years in Andalusia. It has spent €5.5 billion to date in the region, doing essentially what telecoms operators are supposed to do: rolling out infrastructure and creating jobs.

As it stands, the telco covers 80% of the region's population with 5G mobile and has hooked up 2.7 million homes and businesses to fibre. In all, the company has 5.3 million customers for mobile and fixed broadband and it insists they are all satisfied customers. Its fibre footprint reaches close to 5.2 million premises, or almost all in the region, including close to 1 million homes in communities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants. It also claims to support 8,200 direct and indirect job roles.

It’s not wholly clear what MasOrange will do with its €700 million in Andalusia. The money will be used to "expand and optimise these telecoms infrastructure deployments, as well as for the development of new services," the telco said, in a Spanish language statement.

Or to put it another way, the normal type of spending for telecoms operators.

Similarly, it has committed to investing €200 million over three years in the Basque Country, alongside its subsidiary Euskaltel; MasMovil aquired the Basque operator three years ago. But it's hard to get a steer on where the money will actually go and whether it represents anything other than the telco's standard level of investment in the region.

Again, MasOrange is keen to tell us what it has done to date in the Basque Country. We're talking €3.7 billion of investment with a fibre network that covers 1.25 million premises in all 251 Basque municipalities. The telco says 80% of its broadband customer base is hooked up to fibre. Meanwhile, 90% plus of the region's population has 5G mobile coverage, and the telco says it supports 3,000 jobs.

All good stuff. But details of the investment plan are woolly. MasOrange says it is committed to placing the Basque Country at the same level as other advanced global regions. "With this objective, Euskaltel/MasOrange will invest more than €200 million in the next three years in Euskadi to continue promoting its economic and technological development," it said.

It seems that MasOrange is just doing its job. But that is a positive thing for its customers in Spain, particularly those in the regions mentioned, and should help it retain its dominant market share.

About the Author(s)

Mary Lennighan

Mary has been following developments in the telecoms industry for more than 20 years. She is currently a freelance journalist, having stepped down as editor of Total Telecom in late 2017; her career history also includes three years at CIT Publications (now part of Telegeography) and a stint at Reuters. Mary's key area of focus is on the business of telecoms, looking at operator strategy and financial performance, as well as regulatory developments, spectrum allocation and the like. She holds a Bachelor's degree in modern languages and an MA in Italian language and literature.

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