Finetwork wants to have closed its new fixed and mobile network wholesale agreement for the period 2024-2028 – which the company has valued at around 700 million euros – between January 15 and 30 of next year, while already It has a preliminary agreement for the sale of around 91,500 accesses of its fiber network located in towns in Levante and Toledo for an amount of between 15 and 20 million euros.
“We, between January 15 and 30 at the latest , and with the ambition of it being before January 15, are going to close a wholesale agreement, whether or not with Vodafone ,” said the CEO of Finetwork.
The company’s strategy involves accessing a mobile network with “quality” 5G technology and also reaching at least between 17 and 20 million fiber homes.
Regarding this agreement, there are several open scenarios due to the changes in the ‘teleco’ sector that have taken place recently and that can cause a series of cascading effects.
One of the most important is Digi’s agreement to be the recipient of the ‘remedies’ of the merger between Orange and MásMóvil and by which the Romanian operator will acquire 60 megahertz (MHz) of radio space from MásMóvil and also an option of wholesale agreement with Orange on advantageous conditions, although all of this is subject to the European Commission approving the merger.
That Digi finally becomes the recipient of the ‘remedies’ poses a threat to Telefónica , given that the Romanian operator has a wholesale contract with the company chaired by José María Álvarez-Pallete valued, according to various analysts, at around 300 million euros. annually and ending in September 2026.
Added to this movement in the sector is the acquisition by Zegona of the Vodafone business in Spain for 5,000 million euros, an operation in which, according to market sources consulted by Europa Press, it is expected that the British fund will take control of the company. operator at the end of March 2024.
In this context, the fact that Finetwork wants to close its new wholesale agreement in January 2024 represents , a priori, an obstacle for the company to renew the contract with Vodafone, despite the fact that, as Vilda maintains, the operator remains its “preferred partner” due to the years of relationship between both companies.
However, Zegona has not yet contacted Finetwork to address the renewal of the contract , Vilda stated, although the president of Zegona, Eamonn O’Hare , explained in an interview with ‘El Mundo’ that this conversation was not It has occurred because the British fund has not yet taken possession of the business.
Furthermore, Vodafone’s fiber network does not completely meet Finetwork’s objectives, given that the operator’s coverage is around 11 million homes (compared to the 17-20 million that Finetwork aspires to), although Vilda has pointed out on several occasions that this obstacle could be overcome with complementary agreements with other companies such as Adamo or Avatel , among others.
“I think that here (in Spain) there are three 5G networks that work properly. One will be that of Orange and Másmóvil, now that it seems that the operation is going to be closed; another is that of Vodafone and another is that of Telefónica. I mean , any of those three 5G networks are fine for us,” Vilda stated.
Thus, another possible scenario is that Telefónica takes advantage of the situation and closes a wholesale agreement with Finetwork to make up for a possible reduction in its income due to the agreement reached by Digi with Orange and MásMóvil.
“We spoke with Telefónica because it is a great company and has an excellent network (…) For us it would be a good option and it meets everything we need ,” said Vilda, who has not gone into assessing the situation of the Digi wholesale contract with Telefónica.
Although all possibilities are open, the manager has insisted that his “priority, for convenience, will always be Vodafone” , although he has warned that “it has to be able” to offer them “everything” they need.
“This agreement will probably mark the future of our company, so we are going to take it very slowly to make the best possible decision (…) If it were necessary to maintain the quality of the network that we want to have in the future, we would leave Vodafone We will not have any kind of consideration,” he added.
Along these lines, he has also pointed out that the company works from a technical point of view in the scenario of having to migrate its clients’ networks.
Regarding the sale of the around 91,500 accesses of the Finetwork fiber network in Levante and Toledo , Vilda has assured that they already have a pre-agreement for an amount of between 15 and 20 million euros.
“We already have a principle of agreement for the sale of these units (…) It has to be finalized in an agreement in the next two or three weeks (…) The range (of the operation) is going to be between 15 and 20 million euros. That is where we have the agreement already closed,” said the manager.
Although he has not revealed the name of the company acquiring these assets due to the confidentiality agreements signed , Vilda has dropped that it is “one of the institutions that participates in the global world in fiber networks.”