Reloj del edificio Gran Vía de Telefónica


José María Álvarez Pallete y Mike Fries

In the year of the pandemic, the year in which everything changed, Telefónica's networks played a crucial role in enabling life to go on from our homes. At a distance, we signed the most important deal in our history: the merger of O2 and Virgin Media in the UK, and in Spain the first version of 5G arrived.

The year we live inwards


From now on, everything will be "before or after the pandemic". The year 2020 brought with it the greatest health, economic and social crisis this generation has seen and brought life around the globe to a standstill. Normality broke down abruptly in March and only the networks - Telefónica's and everyone's - allowed another life to continue: the digital one. If we have been able to move forward, it is partly because telecommunications have given societies their backbone and turned our homes into offices, schools, shops, cinemas and bars. In the meantime, and also remotely, the company designed and executed the most important deal in its history: merging its UK assets with the giant Virgin Media to build together the largest telecommunications company in the UK market.

José María Álvarez Pallete durante la pandemia

Time to pitch in


It was time to go all out and Telefónica did so in a thousand ways: • Providing the best connectivity • Giving away data and content and opening up training platforms for people to use. • Ensuring the liquidity of its suppliers • From digitising field hospitals in a few hours to bringing in medical supplies from China, putting itself at the disposal of the authorities for everything needed. • Donating mobile lines or tablets and assisting emergency services. Telefónica's role in the pandemic triggered our pride of ownership and made our mission more evident than ever: to make the world more humane by connecting people's lives.


The largest operator in the UK market


In the midst of the pandemic, in early May, after months of preparation and for the first time remotely, the creation of a 50/50 joint venture between Virgin Media, owner of the UK's fastest broadband network, and Telefónica O2, the country's largest mobile platform, was announced. The UK market's strongest integrated supplier is born, with £10 billion of investment in the UK in the first five years. The most audacious operation in Telefónica's history.

Acuerdo entre O2 y Virgin Media

5G arrives


The latest mobile generation, which will enable remote surgery, the autonomous car, the revolution in gaming and e-sports, and much more, arrives in Spain in September 2020. Before the end of the year, 76% of the Spanish population can already access this first version of 5G in all autonomous communities.

Llega el 5G

Agreeement between Telefónica and Liberty Global in the UK

You must accept all cookies to see this content


Do you have doubts about what happened?

Ask Aura