Italian ISP Fastweb has introduced commercial 1Gbps fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services in Milan and says it is preparing gigabit launches in 29 other cities in 2017, with Turin and Bologna set to be the first to be covered. Under its ‘Flash Fiber’ partnership with Telecom Italia (TIM) Fastweb is planning to have FTTH infrastructure which reaches five million Italian homes by 2020, while it will cover a further eight million premises with 200Mbps fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) networks by the same date. The firm says it is launching a new Wi-Fi home router in January to deliver the gigabit speeds; at present, customers in Milan must have a wired connection to their router to achieve the peak rates.
Following on from yesterday’s announcement that it has signed a deal to lease 3.5GHz spectrum from rival ISP Tiscali, Fastweb says it plans to use the spectrum to deploy small cell technology to create a 5G-ready wireless network in Italy’s main urban areas. Fastweb is already one of the country’s largest MVNOs, and is switching its mobile network hosting partner from 3 Italia to TIM from January. It says this will enable it to offer 100Mbps 4G LTE connectivity to 96% of the population, with 300Mbps LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) services available in 400 cities and towns.
Swisscom subsidiary Fastweb had 1.01 million Italian MVNO customers and 2.29 million fixed broadband subscribers at the end of September, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database.