Italy - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses
Italy's vibrant mobile market has one of the highest penetration rates in Europe, though the number of subscribers has fallen in recent years as customers respond to attractive off-net pricing and bundled offers from the main providers. The market underwent considerable changes following the merger of Wind and 3 Italia (becoming Wind Tre). As a result of the merger the market gained a new entrant in the form of Iliad, which secured access to spectrum and to part of Wind Tre's infrastructure to enable it to offer services while its own network is being developed. The company launched services in May 2018 and by the following August had secured more than two million subscribers. The popularity of its offers has considerably disrupted the market, leading competitors to rethink their strategies. Wind Tre in particular struggled with customers losses in 2018, while the continuing effort to merge the networks of Wind and 3 Italia was disrupted by the brief ban on commercial ties with its principal vendor ZTE.
Network operators have been among the first in Europe to trial services based on 5G. To this end they have been helped by the regulator which made available spectrum in the 3.5GHz band for trial licenses. An auction of spectrum in a range of bands for 5G was completed in October 2018, raising 6.55 billion. The sum was higher than the government anticipated, and though the licence fees are payable over five years the cost will place a strain on financing future financing network development. Operators are looking at cost-saving options and, in the case of Wind Tre, have considered the sale of their base station portfolio.
This report provides an analytic overview of Italy's mobile market, including statistics, key regulatory issues and an assessment of mobile data services. It also profiles the major providers and the likely impact of emerging technologies on their strategies for coming years.
TIM and Vodafone agree on tower network merge as prelude to 5G rollout;
TIM launches 5G in six cities;
Fastweb and Wind Tre sign 5G network-sharing deal;
Regulator raises 6.55 billion in multi spectrum auction, considers 30% cut in MTRs;
CK Hutchison completes purchase of VEONs 50% stake in Wind Tre;
TIM makes first 5G video call, sets up 5G Innovation Hub;
Vodafone Italy and TIM settle into NB-IoT services over their LTE networks;
Regulator consults on extending licenses in the 3.5GHz band;
Regulator extends 3G licences to 2029 and GSM licences to 2027;
Report update includes the regulators market data to March 2018, telcos operating and financial data to Q2 2019, recent market developments.
Companies mentioned in this report:
Wind Tre (3 Italia / Wind Telecom), Telecom Italia (TIM), Vodafone Italia.