Italy - Telecommunication Services: Mature Market Focusing on Innovation (Strategy, Performance and Risk Analysis)
Italy was the fourth-largest European economy in terms of GDP in 2016; however, difficulties in securing loans and capital have impacted the business environment. This is due to risks arising from political instability, high sovereign debt, non-performing assets and an inefficient labor market impacting business confidence. The Italian ultra-broadband strategy for next-generation connectivity will develop a high-speed access network that covers 85% of the population, with infrastructure capable of assuring speeds above 100Mbps for at least 50% of users and above 30Mbps for all by 2020.
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Internet subscriptions to record growth
Fixed internet is popular in Italy due to the high-speed network access offered by broadband services. Several initiatives, such as fiber optics to the home (FTTH), will cause the number of broadband subscriptions to rise from 15.6 million in 2016 to 19.2 million in 2021.
Innovations driving subscription growth and revenue
An increase in innovation is driving subscription growth and revenues. Operators are focusing on launching innovative technologies and services to improve customer satisfaction. Developments in smartphone technology increased mobile service adoption rates and allowed operators to offer high-speed internet services; Telecom Italia completed a field trial of 5G in Turin. In 2016, mobile revenue accounted for twice that of fixed-line revenue, a larger portion being contributed by data services. Total mobile subscriptions, which stood at 91 million in 2016, will reach 96 million in 2021.
Growing data users will fuel innovation in mobile segment
All mobile operators are planning to shift from the current UMTS to LTE technology to offer 4G and 5G services. In an attempt to expand and upgrade its network, Telecom Personal has initiated 5G for Italy trails in partnership with Telecom Italia and Ericsson, and fielded 5G LTE services in Turin.