First of all, tell me the story of Onivia
Onivia is an independent and neutral fiber wholesale operator. We have existed as a company since November 2019 and arose from a purchase operation by investment funds specialized in infrastructure, Macquarie Capital and Aberdeen Standard Investments, of a FTTH network with access to nearly one million homes owned by MásMóvil. After this acquisition, they considered that it made sense to create a neutral operator.
“We are growing in footprint and we continue with the commercial work to develop the business in Spain”
Last year we just formed as a company. Throughout 2020 we are dedicated to configuring our system, our platform and taking full control of the network, preparing it and having it ready … Now in 2021 we are growing in footprint and we continue with the commercial work to develop the business in Spain.
You present yourself as the first independent and neutral telecommunications operator of wholesale access services to its metropolitan fiber optic network to the home (FTTH). What makes your model unique?
The large traditional operators in Spain sell in a wholesale mode, but they also target retail, so they have to protect their client portfolio. At Onivia we are never going to go to the end customer, but to operators and also focused on FTTH and not on dark fiber like others. For these reasons we say that we have a unique model.
“We offer operators commercial support”
In addition, we do something different with respect to national wholesalers: we are giving local and regional operators a commercial accompaniment. We help them get out of their sphere of influence and we are building for them a series of tools to know which areas are most important commercially to expand their footprint. This is something differential. We are interested in their growth and we want to help and accompany them in their growth.
Icíar Martínez, director of Markets and Products of Onivia.
What are the characteristics of this network that you rent to third parties?
The network is the market standard. They are GPON networks that have the same characteristics as any other network that is deployed in Spain. They are urban networks, in very densely populated areas like the main cities of Spain: Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville and Malaga. It is an infrastructure focused on operators that go to residential customers, rather than to companies, and for a medium audience – low cost.
One of the latest movements of the company has been the purchase from MásMóvil of a majority stake in a rural fiber network of more than 1 million homes. What does this operation mean for you?
We have purchased a network that serves rural areas and small municipalities with less than 25,000 inhabitants and even less than 10,000. This network is partially deployed, another part is being deployed. These are areas that lack broadband and in which Telefónica does not even reach.
What weight does the local operator have in Onivia’s business? What other clients do you serve?
All our clients are operators. The place is the one that has the greatest weight, it is the one we are focused on. With this latest acquisition of FTTH it will be the majority.
“All our clients are operators, but the local is the one that has the greatest weight”
Although we want to address everyone, depending on the area in which we are selling we go to one or another profile. For example, in Barcelona and Madrid we target national operators, while in Levante and Andalusia – which account for approximately half of our network – we work with regional and local operators.
When we talk about Emptied Spain at the level of disconnection, we focus a lot on the rural environment, but there are also many blind spots, so to speak, in the cities, what do you think about it?
We who already have the big cities covered, every month we continue to thicken the footprint. It is important to fill in those gaps. In fact, we have implemented with our clients to take into account areas without coverage.
“Our growth goes in two directions: complementing and densifying and growing in coverage nationwide”
Our growth goes in two directions: complementing and densifying and growing in coverage nationwide.
With this operation we provide coverage throughout Spain, except in the Canary Islands. Everything will come….
However, fiber cannot reach all places … what alternatives do you propose from Onivia?
To the sites that do not reach, taking advantage of 5G deployments, we are seeing possible synergies between 5G and fiber. The idea is to have a combined offer and cover the last mile with 5G.
“We are seeing possible synergies between 5G and fiber”
We’re reviewing the projects that may arise with recovery aid from European funds in which rural connections with 5G are prioritized. In addition, we are talking with a tower company …
Impulsa BitStream is the new service that the company is going to launch on the market, what does it consist of?
The service itself is a bitstream access so that operators can provide fiber connection to their end customers. It does not require an initial investment in capex and provides a very simple connection to our platform. At Onivia we aggregate the traffic so that the delivery point is unique.
“Impulsa BitStream is a fast, flexible access model for local or regional operators that does not require an initial investment”
Is solution is intended for local and regional operators with a very limited time to market, in three or four weeks, which allows them to connect and market services on the network very quickly and flexibly.
Spain is in the top 3 in Europe in terms of FTTH / B penetration, what advances will we see at a technological level in these networks?
Coverage levels are already very high and what we have to do now is fill the network and increase efficiency. Technology will evolve to XGSPON, going from the symmetrical gig that is now being given to 10 gigs.
“Future fiber networks must be ready for XGSPON”
At the end customer level, there are no services that demand such high speeds, but you have to be prepared for the future.
With the rise of teleworking, homes have become new offices, is this change driving the demand for fiber at home?
We don’t see it directly, but that increased traffic our clients are noticing it more. Until last year these peaks occurred at night, now there is consumption throughout the day. This affects networks because they have to be dimensioned. This favors us because our network is very focused on cities and residential areas.
Finally, what prospects do you see within the telecommunications sector?
It is a sector that moves a lot. There will continue to be movements in terms of network separation by the big operators. To capitalize on all the infrastructure they have, they will choose to segregate and sell part of their network and operate in a wholesale mode.
In addition, a Greater concentration in terms of retail operators, who go to the end customer. Today there are many nationals in the market and the optimal thing is that there are fewer in Spain than there are currently. At the regional and local operator level, the level of dispersion is higher. And in this environment there are figures like ours, such as Onivia, who can carry out this task of grouping the infrastructure part and that the operators focus more on marketing services.