At the end of September, the Government will issue a new call for the 5G Redes Activas program for the deployment of rural 5G in municipalities with less than 10,000 inhabitants, which will have a budget close to 500 million euros, as announced this Thursday by the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructures, María González. This is a call that is part of the 5G Active Networks aid of the Single Program and is aimed at operators with rights to use 5G frequencies to encourage the deployment of this technology also in smaller municipalities.
Added to this call are the around 500 million euros mobilized within the framework of the Unique 5G Networks-Fiber Optic Backhaul program, initiatives with which the Government works to close the digital divide, both in mobile and fixed connectivity. “We can now say that Spain is 100% connected with ultra-fast broadband, despite the fact that the objective was set in 2025,” said the Secretary of State, who participated this Thursday in the second day of the 37th Meeting of the Digital Economy and Telecommunications, organized by the digital industry association Ametic at the UIMP in Santander.
González took advantage of his intervention in these classic sessions of the telecommunications sector to review the programs launched in the previous legislature. Among them is Conéctate 35, which offers the possibility of contracting a connection through the Hispasat satellite with 100 megabits per second (Mbps) download at a price of 35 euros per month. The Secretary of State has announced that next year the speed will increase to 200 Mbps.
Likewise, he stressed that the Strategic Project for the Recovery and Economic Transformation of Microelectronics and Semiconductors (PERTE Chip) has allowed Spain to attract investments from companies such as Cisco, Intel or Broadcom. Along these lines, he has also highlighted that the Executive has signed an agreement with the Belgian institute Interuniversity Microelectronics Center (IMEC) to locate a new R&D headquarters in Spain, for which “a couple of locations” are being evaluated. Regarding Broadcom, the Secretary of State specified that it will open a chip design factory in Spain.
In the opinion of María González, the results achieved so far with the PERTE Chip in one year are only “the tip of an iceberg of much more that has to come.” “Spain is consolidating itself as a reference in Europe and in the world, and from the United States we are seen as one of the main partners in the world in terms of microchips,” remarked the head of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, who guaranteed that the Government continues to put “all the meat on the grill” to achieve the great objective of Spain finally getting a chip factory.
Regarding the locations of chip centers in Spain, he indicated that the Government’s idea is to “make a country and a network with the PERTE Chip”, although so far Catalonia is taking over the main announcements. “It is obvious that in those places where there is fabric, it is easier to start, but we have the entire national territory in mind.”
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