Spain speeds up use of 'digital dividend' LTE spectrum

The Spanish telecoms ministry announced that it will speed the launch of LTE services in the country by allowing operators to use "digital dividend" broadcast spectrum by January 2014, a full year earlier than planned. The ministry said this move was being made possible by renegotiating the plan to release the spectrum to operators.

To facilitate this spectrum handover, Spain's Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Information Society, Victor Calvo-Sotelo, said he would make available €45 million to help with the transition, according to the Spanish newspaper El Economista.

However, in a speech to the Industry Committee of Congress to report on the budget of his department, Calvo-Sotelo also revealed that the €2 billion acquired by the government last year from the LTE spectrum auctions could not be used to help this move since the previous government had used the funds to reduce the country's financial deficit.

Calvo-Sotelo said the proposed liberalisation of TV broadcast spectrum for LTE services "was very ambitious and very expensive," at some €800 million, according to Rapid TV News. He added that discussions were underway with the TV industry to devise a simpler, and cheaper, plan.

Separately, Calvo-Sotelo said that his ministry will contribute €1 million to the "Barcelona Mobile Capital" initiative that will run alongside the Mobile World Congress conference. This investment is part of commitment to provide a total of €5 million toward the annual conference and exhibition.

For more:
- see this El Economista article (translated via Google Translate)
- see this Rapid TV News article

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