ORANGE has overtaken Vodafone for the first time since arriving on the Spanish market in 2005, to become the country’s second-biggest mobile operator.

The French group now has 11.53 million mobile clients – according to the latest data released by Spain’s telecoms watchdog – compared to Vodafone’s 11.5 million.

Telefonica, meanwhile, remains Spain’s largest operator – with 16.42 million mobile clients – despite seeing a decrease in clients for the 39th consecutive month.

Competition has been heating up between Orange and Vodafone since both recently announced takeovers of Jazztel and Ono, respectively.

However, Spain’s telecoms market is increasingly shifting its focus towards high-speed Internet services.

These enable operators to sell bundled packages with fixed and mobile phone lines, Internet and television, for better combined deals.

Telefonica controls more than 91% of the fibre-optic market, and has recently snapped up new lucrative fibre-optic contracts to maintain its monopoly in the fast-growing business.

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