3.5GHz licence extensions queried in Italy

22 Oct 2018

A group of Italian senators are asking industry minister Luigi Di Maio to investigate the proposed extension of licences in the 3.4GHz-3.6GHz band. Earlier this year fixed-wireless operators including GO internet, Tiscali, Linkem, Mandarin and TIM approached telecoms regulator Agcom to request a six-year extension to their existing concessions, stretching their expiry date to December 2029.

The recent sale of 5G-capable spectrum in the 3.6GHz-3.8GHz band raised EUR4.35 billion (USD5 billion), and the ministers are now querying why the 3.4GHz-3.6GHz band licences would be extended. They say the frequencies in question could be worth up to EUR4 billion if sold at auction. The probe has cast a doubt on whether Fastweb’s proposed EUR150 million acquisition of Tiscali’s fixed-wireless business will go ahead as planned.