Monday, June 27

The Government will reduce the tax burden on operators to encourage the deployment of 5G

The Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño.

The Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño.

The Government will reduce the wholesale obligations contemplated in the preliminary text of the conditions of the auction of the 700 MHz band and will reduce the tax burdens of the operators, among other measures, to encourage the deployment of 5G.

The Second Vice President and Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, presented on Friday the 5G roadmap to the main operators and associations of the sector in a meeting after which it was also pointed out that the Government is “finalizing” the prices of the 5G auction.

The Government has decided to abolish the wholesale obligations in some frequency blocks and has specified and adjusted the terms of the content of the coverage obligation imposed on each of the blocks.

According to the preliminary conditions, depending on the lot, the operators had to cover 100% of the populations of 20,000 or 50,000 inhabitants in three years, while the starting price of the auction was 1,170 million euros, considered very high by companies.

Among other measures, the reorganization of the 3.5 GHz band (3,400-3,800 Mhz) to optimize it and encourage investment in networks, as the companies have been proposing, since the proximity of blocks of the same operator improves the quality of their service.

The Government’s proposals have been welcomed by DigitalEs, the employers’ association of telecommunications companies, which indicates that “they will help accelerate the digital transformation of Spain.”

Fiscal measures

The Government also seeks to reduce the tax burden of operators, who denounce that it is the largest in Europe, by reducing the annual rates of spectrum reservations in the zones reserved for 5G in 2022 and 2023, a measure that the Government estimates in the plan sent to Brussels that will result in a reduction in public coffers of 90 million euros.

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In return, according to the Recovery Plan, operators will have to invest these amounts in deployments in areas where they do not have an infrastructure deployment obligation.

Tasa de RTVE

On the other hand, in the statement issued this Friday, the revision of the rate that operators contribute to Spanish Radio Television.

In addition, measures have been included to expedite the granting of the necessary permits to deploy telecommunications networks through the occupation of the public domain (roads, railways and hydrographic confederations) and the implementation of the connectivity toolbox of the European Commission.

In the same sense, the Government will modify the National Table of Frequency Attribution, currently in public consultation, to include conditions harmonized techniques valid for 5G of each of the frequency bands indicated in Europe for electronic services and communications.

The Executive will also pursue Brussels to develop guidelines at the community level to facilitate companies to share infrastructure and spectrum.

In addition, the Council of Ministers has already approved a royal decree by which the maximum duration of spectrum licenses it extended up to 40 years (20 years fixed and 20 renewable).

The new roadmap also includes the drafting of a Good Practice Guide for local entities, an extreme that is contemplated in the Recovery Plan, which allocates four million euros to training and support to local entities for the deployments of this technology.

The Recovery Plan will allocate a total of 4,000 million euros drive connectivity, 5G deployment and security.

Among its axes is the investment of 812 million euros in extending ultra-fast broadband, 109 million euros in the 5G roadmap, in addition to 480 million euros for the reinforcement of connectivity in reference centers, socio-economic engines and sectorial digitization leading projects.

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Likewise, the deployment of 5G will receive public investments by 1,400 million euros, while for cross-border digital infrastructures another 500 million euros will be allocated.

Among the objectives of the plan is that 100% of Spaniards have Internet at a speed of 100 Mbps, a measure that seeks to close the Internet access gap.

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