According to Reuters, five Italian operators have officially submitted requests to participate in the country’s upcoming spectrum auction, which will include frequencies suitable for Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. According to the Ministry of Economic Development (MdSE), companies that have thrown their hats into the ring include the country’s four main mobile network operators – Telecom Italia Mobile, Vodafone Italy, Wind and 3 Italia – alongside WiMAX operator Linkem, which currently offers wireless broadband coverage in around 200 municipalities. Frequencies in the following spectrum bands are set to go under the hammer: 800MHz, 1800MHz, 2000MHz and 2600MHz.
The Italian government has previously stated that it hopes to raise at least EUR2.4 billion (USD3.4 billion) in the tender process, with Industry Minister Paolo Romani forecasting that the state could earn as much of EUR3.1 billion if all the frequencies are sold. The government will announce the full list of participants on 29 July, and the bidders will then have a month to present their offers. The resultant bids will be opened in a public session scheduled for 30 August. A final decision is expected to be made by 30 September.