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Telefónica Móviles España 3G UMTS Rollout, Spain

Key Data

Telefónica Móviles España (TME) is one of the largest mobile telecommunications in Spain (19.6 million subscribers), with interests in mobile networks across Europe, particularly in Germany, and also in Latin America.

In early 2002, TME started the construction of a 3G network (following the award of a 3G licence in late 2001). This was no small undertaking as Spain has over 52 major cities and a land area of over 500,000km². The initial rollout of UMTS (universal mobile telecommunications) services, which covered only a very limited area, was completed in June 2002 (750 UMTS network base stations).

Later that year, TME completed the rollout of Spain's first pre-commercial UMTS service (to satisfy its licence agreement with the government). UMTS coverage is still very limited and will only cover specific areas of 40 major cities. However, TME are distributing UMTS packs (packs contain PCMIA card, Escritorio software and a USIM MoviStar card - a high capacity SIM card) to allow corporate customers to access 'Oficina MoviStar' data services (Internet, intranet and email at the full 3G speed of 384kbps) as a gratis trial, although they will need to set up a new MoviStar Plus Datos UMTS account.

The UMTS network rollout has continued throughout 2003–2006 following a $1bn investment by the company into infrastructure, and the company's target of full coverage in 52 major cities of Spain by the end of 2004 was achieved (8,000 UMTS base stations were installed by 2005). The commercial 3G voice services for other subscribers also began in 2004.


Swedish company Ericsson was the main supplier during the first phase of the rollout, which was completed in 2002 as a trial network. Nortel Networks started to supply equipment, technology and expertise to TME in both Spain and Germany during the second half of 2002. This followed a €284 million ($250 million) agreement signed by TME with Nortel Networks to supply radio access CDMA equipment, technology and expertise in Spain and Germany over three years.

Nortel provided Internet Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) and all core network infrastructure equipment for the Spanish networks, as well as a full turnkey UTRAN (UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network) layer in Germany for Quam, the Telefónica-Sonera venture (Telefónica Móviles own 57.2% of Quam, and Sonera own 42.8%). Siemens has now taken over the mantle of main equipment contractor to TME in Spain with several large orders for itself and partners like SR Telecom during 2004 to 2006.

Siemens received its first large order from TME for UMTS equipment in January 2004; Siemens was the company responsible for the supply and installation of the second phase of UMTS equipment during 2005 to bolster the number of base stations to 8,000. SR Telecom also received orders for $5.5m worth of Symmetry One base stations for delivery in 2006 and another order for 110 base stations and 10,000 subscriber units worth $10m for delivery during the same time period.


Lucent Technologies was awarded a contract in March 2004 to provide network management software for TME's new 3G UMTS network as well as the existing GSM / GPRS network. The software system provided was the NavisRadius SP authentication, authorisation and accounting software, which has allowed TME to introduce robust secure data services to subscribers on 2G or 3G networks. The system was installed and integrated as part of TME's operation support system (OSS) by Lucent Worldwide Services.

NavisRadius uses a flexible PolicyFlow language and adds an expanded graphic interface for overall server management and operational control. The software has the ability to support multiple logging channels, highly tuneable log rules, and custom alarm conditions.

In an extended contract in 2006 Lucent services arm will provide consulting and network integration services for the deployment of VitalSuite into the Telefonica network. Ericsson also has a new contract for 2006 with TME. Under the agreement Ericsson will deploy its Multihaul WDM solution to enhance the capacity of Telefónica’s metropolitan transport network in Spain.


Lucent Technologies and Novatel Wireless have supplied TME with their 3G UMTS high-speed data cards. The card offered by TME is the Merlin U530 UMTS wireless PC card modem. The card allows 3G services such as video streaming, audio downloads, secure mobile access to e-mail with large attachments and other productivity-enhancing applications at speeds approaching 384kbps.


Axalto (formerly known as Schlumberger Smart Cards and Terminals), one of the world's leading suppliers of microprocessor cards, is to supply TEM with their 128kB USIM cards. These SIM cards will have a higher capacity than any previous SIM cards released by TEM (previously only 64kB) and will also be able to work on both GPRS and UMTS networks and work in both GSM and the new 3G handsets. The new USIM will provide TME subscribers with advanced services such as roaming services, more SMS capacity and full integration of the MoviStar menu.


The i-mode mobile Internet service, developed by the Japanese telecommunications company NTT DoCoMo for use over 2G or 3G networks, has been adopted and launched as part of the subscriber services package offered by TME. The service started towards the end of 2003 and has been a success, but more developers are needed to produce content and sites in Spanish as the service tends to be dominated by Japanese. NTT DoCoMo provided TME with the necessary licences and support along with adopting a major role in developing content for the service.


Comverse has been selected by TME to provide the Comverse Multimedia Messaging Service Centre (MMSC), which is to be deployed side-by-side with a third party MMSC to support high-volume personal and application-based multimedia messaging in Spain on the TME network.

Comverse MMSC features high capacity, efficient traffic management, advanced content adaptation capabilities and legacy support of video, allowing recipients on non-video handsets to view video messages with the best presentation their handsets can manage. The software is a scalable telco-grade system, for person-to-person, as well as application-to-person messaging of multimedia content.

The system is built on the eXtensible Messaging Framework (XMF) and based on components of the Comverse InSight platform, to provide an open and flexible platform. A major bonus of the service is that it can send SMS messages to non-compatible phones to view a website in order to receive a multimedia message.


Tira Wireless was selected by TME in mid-2003 to provide mobile Java-based games for the 'e-mocion' mobile Internet access platform. The agreement will allow subscribers to use a wide selection of mobile-based games published by Tira Studios.

Cyberclick Agent, a digital media company based in Barcelona, also launched a mobile video based entertainment application based on the successful 'hellomobile' Java technology for TME. The service has taken the form of video clips that are available for download on a pay-per-clip basis.