The Italian ISP Tiscali says it expects the EUR150 million (USD175 million) sale of its fixed-wireless business to go ahead within the next few days, despite the ongoing row over the extension of the spectrum licence included in the deal. A report from CorCom says the Sardinia-based ISP is denying rumours that the value of the deal has been increased by up to EUR40 million following the recent auction of 3.7GHz spectrum, which raised over EUR4 billion for the government.
In July this year Tiscali agreed to sell its 3.5GHz TD-LTE fixed-wireless business to rival firm Fastweb. Under the deal, Swisscom subsidiary Fastweb is acquiring Tiscali’s 3.5GHz spectrum licence, which includes 40MHz of frequencies, while it also inherits a network of 836 towers. Meanwhile, Tiscali will get full access to Fastweb’s fibre-based wireline broadband network and will continue to market fixed-wireless services to its customers on TD-LTE infrastructure thanks to a wholesale agreement with the new owner.
Tiscali, along with other 3.5GHz licensees including Go internet, Mandarin and Linkem, has requested an extension of its 3.5GHz concession from 2023 to 2029, but this has been queried both by Italian politicians and participants in the auction, with critics saying that the 3.5GHz licences should not be extended when the 3.7GHz permits were sold for such a high price. Some sources had suggested this could derail the Tiscali-Fastweb agreement altogether.