Telecom Italia (TIM) and Vodafone Italy have agreed an active 5G network sharing project and are examining a move to share 4G infrastructure and combine their respective mobile tower networks which together cover some 22,000 sites. The two firms say the deal would support a faster deployment of 5G over a wider geographic area, at a lower cost. The operators add that they may still deploy separate infrastructure in larger urban areas to enable them to retain ‘strategic flexibility’ in meeting the needs of their respective customer bases. An existing passive network sharing agreement between TIM and Vodafone will be extended from the current level of 10,000 sites (covering 45% of the population) to include all 22,000 sites under their control, giving nationwide coverage.
Aldo Bisio, CEO of Vodafone Italy, said: ‘This partnership will allow us to generate significant benefits for our customers and other stakeholders, who will be able to enjoy the best 5G experience, made available in a shorter period of time and across a wider geographical area. 5G represents a technological breakthrough that will have a profound impact on society, and that requires investment, efficiency and a rapid rollout. This has led us to broaden the scope of our existing successful partnership.’