Cinco Dias has reported that Lyntia Networks and Avatel have emerged as the biggest recipients of funds to support the Spanish government’s rural 5G towers backhaul programme, UNICO-5G Redes Backhaul Fibra Optica (2022), which aims to distribute EUR448 million (USD503.2 million) to build out 8,162 sites for fibre-optic backhaul connection to mobile network locations in sparsely populated areas with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants. The programme falls under the government’s wider plan to deploy ultrafast (minimum 300Mbps, upgradeable to 1Gbps) broadband coverage to 100% of the population by 2025.

Lyntia Networks has been named as the single biggest awardee, receiving more than EUR142 million to deliver connectivity to nearly 2,900 locations in 28 provinces. Next came Avatel, with EUR132.2 million, covering almost 2,700 locations across 30 provinces; Adamo, with EUR82.45 million and 1,670 locations in 14 provinces; Telefonica, with EUR73.54 million and 768 locations in 21 provinces; Totem Towerco, an infrastructure subsidiary of Orange Espana (EUR9.01 million); Orange Spain itself (EUR5.7 million); Catalan-based operator Gurbtec Telecom (EUR3.19 million); and Tradia, a Cellnex subsidiary, for around EUR620,000. However, the Cellnex subsidiary saw applications rejected in over 40 provinces while Telefonica, Totem Towerco and Orange also had proposals rejected in different provinces, while Vento Rede and Asteo Red Neutra were left out altogether. Finally, Cinco Dias notes that American Tower, owner of the old Telxius towers, and Vodafone backed Vantage Towers, did not participate in the funding application process.

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