3 Italia (previously H3G Italia), Italy’s first commercial 3G mobile operator, has announced that Swedish vendor Ericsson is poised to complete an extensive upgrade of its backhaul network, paving the way for the cellco to offer its customers maximum download speeds of up to 42Mbps. Within the scope of the project, initiated in 2011, Ericsson is upgrading and evolving 3 Italia’s network architecture and helping the operator migrate to an end-to-end, full-IP backhaul and access architecture. Nunzio Mirtillo, head of Ericsson’s Mediterranean activities, commented: ‘As data consumption grows due to the massive uptake of mobile broadband, network operators need to upgrade all parts of their networks – not just the radio access network. 3 Italia’s backhaul upgrade will provide the operator’s end-users with fast data services, improving the end-user experience on all devices’. The relationship between 3 Italia and Ericsson dates back to 2001, when the operator started to select suppliers for its UMTS network. In 2005 the two parties went on to sign one of the largest managed services contracts in the telecom industry, which was later extended in June 2009.