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Telefónica has been awarded the majority of a tender by the Spanish Ministry of Defence to supply secure private telecommunications network services.

According to reports, the company has secured three out of four segments of the I3D (Comprehensive Information Infrastructure for Defence) contract, totaling EUR 80.3 million.

The I3D serves as the primary communications and information network for senior government officials and the Armed Forces, necessitating the utmost level of network security. The contract encompasses the implementation of a dark fiber network along with its associated physical infrastructure. Intricate specifics regarding the infrastructure deployed in this critical project were not disclosed.

Additionally, the final I3D contract worth EUR 3.3 million was secured by BalaLink. This contract involves a subsea cable linking mainland Spain to the Balearic Islands, stretching from Valencia to Palma.

In recent months, Telefónica's privileged status as a trusted government partner has come under scrutiny. Last September, Saudi Arabia’s stc Group acquired a 9.9% stake in the company, prompting the Spanish government to respond by taking a similar stake in Telefónica just last month to counterbalance stc’s influence.

Using its state holding company, SEPI, the Spanish government has obtained a 3% share in Telefónica. It intends to progressively raise this to 10% in the upcoming months, a maneuver valued at around EUR 2 billion.

The government clarified that its investment reflects strategies observed in other major European nations such as France and Germany. These countries are witnessing a trend of augmenting state ownership in significant, strategic telecommunications operators.