Italian telcos Wind Tre and Fastweb have signed a ten-year 5G network sharing agreement which they say ‘will lead to the rapid deployment of a shared 5G radio access and backhauling network in Italy’. The nationwide network will include Wind Tre and Fastweb macro and small cells, connected through dark fibre from Fastweb, with a targeted coverage of 90% of the population by 2026. Wind Tre will manage the 5G network, while both operators will offer commercial services independently over the shared infrastructure.
As part of the agreement, Wind Tre will provide Fastweb with roaming services on its existing mobile network (4G and legacy technologies), thus allowing Fastweb to extend its mobile coverage to national level, while Fastweb will provide Wind Tre with wholesale access to its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) networks.
Both Wind Tre and Fastweb won spectrum in the government’s October 2018 5G auction, Wind Tre bagging 3.6GHz and 26GHz frequencies, while Fastweb secured a 26GHz permit. Fastweb also has access to 3.5GHz spectrum thanks to its acquisition of the TD-LTE business of rival firm Tiscali in November last year. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Wind Tre is owned by CK Hutchison of Hong Kong, while Fastweb is a subsidiary of Swisscom. In February this year another two Italian telcos, TIM and Vodafone, agreed to share their own 5G network rollouts in a deal covering 22,000 sites.