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SPAIN - ESPAÑA

  • Sin Licencia (en Espanol), www.licencefree.com (in English) - well-researched webpages about unlicensed "walkie-talkies" for the 446 MHz band. Includes a table of European implementations of rules for this service (as of 2003) , a Spanish-language forum for users, and a fascinating article (in Spanish) about Donald Hings, the Canadian who invented the "walkie-talkie" in 1937, with photographs of some of his early models. This site is apparently sponsored by GCN Levante, a company in Barcelona which sells mobile/portable radio equipment.
  • "Municipal wireless networks in Spain," by Miquel Vidal, MuniWireless, 24 April 2010: "This southern European country is undergoing a Wi-Fi revolution. Until recently, only a few cities have launched modest Wi-Fi projects. Since regulatory and technical issues have been clarified, more cities have deployed municipal wireless networks, and many others are currently in the planning stage... At present, over 300 city councils are offering outdoor Wi-Fi service. This number increases weekly, and may soon double..."
  • "Madrid adds Wi-Fi to buses," by Gareth Halfacre, Thinq, 15 September 2010: "...Madrid has been quietly equipping its municipal bus company, EMT, with Wi-Fi Internet connections as part of a system to track their locations for better scheduling and journey planning - but from tomorrow will open the system up for public use. The service... will be completely free thanks to sponsorship by Gowex and is timed to launch as part of European Mobility Week..."
  • "El BNG protesta al Gobierno por los obstáculos a los espacios WiFi gratuitos," [The Galician Nationalist Bloc protests to the Government about obstacles to free WiFi zones], Europe Press (via La Flecha, 11 July 2007) in Spanish: Spain's Telecom Market Commission is accused of vetoing municipal wireless projects which have been approved by city councils and promised by political parties.
  • "Spaniards Ask, Is Wireless Internet a Private Business or Universal Right?" by Robert Horvitz, Wireless Government Report, 6 September 2007.
  • "La guerra de las telecos y los municipios ya no tiene cuartel" [The war between the telcos and the municipalities has no headquarters], Intelligence and Capital News Report, 26 January 2010 (in Spanish. Summary: Spanish cities are lining up for economic recovery grants to build free/public Wi-Fi networks while telecom operators cry foul at this "unfair competition." Only 132 out of Spain's 8100 municipalities have been licensed to operate public WiFi networks, but over 200 more are seeking Telecom Market Commission approval for their applications for public funding of wireless infrastructure projects.
  • "El activismo asociativo pro-wifi en el Estado Español," (Pro-WiFi associative activism in the Spanish state) by Mayo Fuster Morell, Observatorio para la CiberSociedad, 2005, in Spanish.
  • A new Association of Wi-Fi Users - "la Asociación de Usuarios Wi-Fi" (AUWi-Fi) - was founded in December 2004 to defend the interests of wireless/mobile broadband users and promote universal access.
  • "España se cae del Top Ten de países WiFi" [Spain falls from the top 10 Wi-Fi countries), Noticias WiFi, April 2009 (in Spanish). Since 2002 there has been steady growth in both public and commercial WiFi in Spain, but faster growth in countries like China and Taiwan have moved Spain down to 12th in the global rankings of Wi-Fi hotspot numbers.
  • "Aumentan los puntos Wi-Fi públicos en los municipios de toda Europa," [Public Wi-Fi hotspots increase in cities throughout Europe] by Olga Castro-Perea, Tendencias21, 21 June 2007 in Spanish: today there are 5 companies in Spain providing Wi-Fi access in public spaces: Telefónica, KubiWireless, Swisscom, Vodafone and Comunitel. The main problem, according to Enrique Dans, professor at the Business Institute, is that public access Wi-Fi in Spain requires purchase of physical cards at discouraging prices. Payment through the Internet would be more reasonable but it is mostly impossible. On the other hand, the European companies capable of covering whole cities with Wi-fi have not yet come to Spain.
  • "España, muy por detrás de Europa en el uso de tecnología WiFi" EFE, via 20minutos.es, 5 July 2006:

    "Ninguna de las principales ciudades españolas supera los 300 puntos de acceso público inalámbrico a Internet (WiFi) frente a la media europea de 700 puntos. Según un estudio del portal Lycos, Barcelona y Madrid son las ciudades con mayor número de hotspots WiFi de España con 292 y 291 puntos, respectivamente, seguidas de Valencia con 69, pero muy lejos de capitales europeas como París que tiene 1.204 puntos, Londres, 1.159 o Berlín con 780. En cuanto al número de puntos por habitante, España también está atrasada con un punto por cada 12.000, mientras que en el Reino Unido es de 5.778 y Alemania no llega a los 8.000..."

    (None of the main Spanish cities has more than 300 wireless public Internet access points (WiFi), compared to the European average of 700 access points. According to a study by the Lycos portal, Barcelona and Madrid are the Spanish cities with the most WiFi hotspots - with 292 and 291, respectively - followed by Valencia with 69, but very far from European capitals like Paris which has 1204 hotspots, London 1159 or Berlin with 780. As far as the number of hotspots per inhabitant Spain also lags, with one hotspot for each 12,000 people, while in the United Kingdom there are 5778 people per hotspot and Germany almost 8000...)

  • Wi-fi a "basic citizen right": "The city of Barcelona recently suspended its free wi-fi service providing access to public interest websites, after the Spanish telecommunications market regulator said the service was infringing competition rules. Other municipal wi-fi networks are also under threat... According to [Jaume Oliveras, from the Barcelona 'Ciutat del Coneixement' (Knowledge City) department], the problem is related to a wider policy issue: 'as long as Internet access is not considered a universal right but simply a market, we will face similar situations...' Recently, the CMT also imposed fines on the municipalities of Atarfe (in Andalucia) and Ponte Areas (in Galicia) for providing free wi-fi access services... 'We will keep the service up and we will fight for what we see as a basic citizen right. Internet is like the education sector, we have to make sure that a basic, public service is available to everyone,' said Antonio Rojo, responsible for new technologies in the Municipality of Atarfe..." ---from eGovernment News, 25 November 2004
  • "La SGAE sitúa a Canarias con 487 emisoras de radio sin licencia como la primera de España," Vocento, 21 August 2006 in Spanish (via Noticias Ya.com): the General Society of Authors (SGAE) says that according to data they collected in 2005, 387 unlicensed broadcast transmitters are operating in Andalusia, 318 in Valencia, 183 in Barcelona, 144 in Madrid and 143 in the Basque country. In other words, there are more unlicensed broadcasters than licensed ones in Spain, and the situation has "stabilized" - the unlicensed stations are continuing to broadcast without either obtaining a license or being shut down.
  • "Evaluación del Nivel de Utilización del Espectro: Posibilidades de la tecnología Cognitive Radio en España" [Evaluation of the level of spectrum utilization - possibilities of Cognitive Radio in Spain] by Miguel López Benítez, Fernando Casadevall y Anna Umbert, in Spanish. Presented at URSI 2009: "...Current spectrum utilization has already been evaluated in some measurement campaigns all over the world. However, to the best of the authors' knowledge, no previous study has assessed the spectrum occupancy and the feasibility of the cognitive radio technology in different allocated spectrum bands under Spanish regulations. In this context, this paper presents a pioneer spectrum occupancy measurement in Spain conducted in the frequency range from 75 MHz to 7075 MHz in an outdoor environment in urban Barcelona. The measurements are analyzed and compared to the official spectrum regulations. The obtained results demonstrate the existence of a significant amount of spectrum available for the deployment of future cognitive radio networks."
  • "RFID Anywhere Improves Postal Delivery Service Quality," IT Reseller Online, 20 March 2007: "Correos, the Spanish Postal Service... has successfully implemented the largest RFID project in Europe. The state-controlled company has introduced a radio frequency control system, called Q-RFID, in its 15 Automated Processing Centres (APCs) throughout Spain..." Click here to download RFID Anywhere's "Case Study: Spanish Postal Service."

CANARY ISLANDS

  • "Las Palmas, Gran Canaria deploys municipal Wi-Fi mesh network," by Esme Vos, MuniWireless.com, 11 May 2011: "... The citys vision is for a citywide network that will eventually cover 17 square kilometers and deliver reliable and economical Internet access services to citizens and businesses in addition to using it for a broad range of municipal applications... The initial phase of the network is complete and delivers free public Internet access (broadband limited to 256kb) to residents, tourists and local businesses in 16 hot spots around the city. The hot spot locations include public areas such as city parks, beaches, and town centers..."
  • Extracts from ITU documents, ETSI standards and Spanish laws and regulations concerning the ISM bands (especially 2.4 GHz), compiled by Juan Ignacio Gonzáles Braña for FuerteVenturaWireless in 2003 (all in Spanish).
  • Canarias Wireless - community freenet.
  • "La SGAE sitúa a Canarias con 487 emisoras de radio sin licencia como la primera de España," Vocento, 21 August 2006 in Spanish (via Noticias Ya.com): the General Society of Authors (SGAE) says that according to data they collected in 2005, 487 broadcast transmitters are operating without a license in the Canary Islands. The Government of the Canary Islands plans to issue 156 new licenses - the maximum they say can be accommodated without interference. That will "alleviate but not resolve" the problem as there are more than 3 times that many stations already operating.

Europe - Regional Overview