Orange Espana has announced that more than one million customers have signed up for its LTE-based offering since it inaugurated the network in July last year. In confirming the subscriber milestone, Orange noted that, having signed up 530,000 4G customers by the end of 2013, it added almost half a million more in the first three months of 2014 alone. Meanwhile, with the cellco noting that its 4G infrastructure is available in almost 200 municipalities, covering around 50% of the population, it has said that by the end of this year it aims to have expanded the network footprint to around two-thirds of Spaniards, with more than 400 municipalities to be covered by that date, including all provincial capitals and all towns with more than 50,000 inhabitants.
Orange has attributed its success in the 4G arena to its network rollout strategy, which it noted has looked to ensure a high quality of service in each location where coverage is expanded to. As such, the cellco has sought to ensure 90% outdoor coverage in all rollout locations before opening access to the service in that municipality. By comparison to its rivals, the operator also claims to have deployed 25% more base stations than its competitors in order to ensure that customers receive maximum speeds and a high quality level of service. In total, Orange has said it is investing EUR1.1 billion (USD1.51 billion) on its 4G network development, including the costs of the infrastructure deployment itself, and the acquisition of LTE-suitable spectrum.