"Spain ranks third in the EU in connectivity and seventh in digital public services, with levels well above the European average (Digital Economy and Society Index 2021)"
The ICT sector was one of the fastest-growing sectors in Spain over the last decade and digitalisation is a strategic factor in transforming the production model and stimulating economic recovery in Spain after the pandemic.
The Spanish government’s commitment to digitalisation is strong, as highlighted in the Digital Spain Plan 2025, which features specific strategies to promote technologies that are crucial for Spain: 5G, cybersecurity, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. Its commitment to communications and new technologies has also been reinforced by Europe’s commitment to digital transformation as a lever for transforming the economy.
Spain is therefore the country that will receive most funds from the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (NextGenerationEU): up to 140 billion euros between 2021 and 2026, 23.1% of which will go to the modernisation and digitalisation of industry, SMEs and tourism, as well as promoting entrepreneurship Spain. The funds will focus on SMEs, authorities and citizens.
The ICT sector had a turnover of 120 billion euros in 2019, 3.8% of Spain’s GDP. And, according to ICT Monitor, the sector grew by 18.8% between June 2020 and June 2021, recovering its pre-pandemic position. The number of Internet users has also risen by 3.7% since the pandemic began and Spain has been the EU country with the fourth largest growth in household Internet access over the last decade, with a coverage of 95% in 2020.
Science parks work in collaboration with the business sector to promote innovation projects in ICT clusters that are located in almost every part of the country. Almost 70,000 companies employ more than 527,000 workers.
ICT is a mature sector in Spain, where prestigious businesses such as Telefónica, Amadeus, Indra or Everis lead projects on international markets. Exports maintained an upward trend in 2019 for the fifth year running, and account for 4.1% of all exports. Service exports are particularly worthy of mention, reaching 17.56 billion euros in 2019.
Spain has the largest household fibre network in the EU. And 92% of households are covered by very high capacity networks. With more than 172,000 mobile base stations and 54.9 million mobile phones, foreign ICT companies and entrepreneurs are choosing Spain for its solid telecommunications infrastructure network and excellent connectivity.
As an EU member with a key location for trade, Spain is a gateway to the EU market and business with European partners. Spain has a dynamic ecosystem for startups, with various cities and regions featuring on the European innovation and digitalisation map. It offers physical security and legal certainty, social stability and an attractive lifestyle that makes it a unique life experience for many digital nomads and their families.