Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development (Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico, MiSE) has designated ISP Fastweb as the country’s fifth mobile network operator (MNO) alongside TIM, Wind Tre, Vodafone and Iliad. The firm plans to compete in the 5G market alongside the four established MNOs.
Swisscom-owned Fastweb initially concentrated on the fixed line sector, but launched an MVNO service in 2008, first using the infrastructure of 3 Italia (now part of Wind Tre) and now with TIM as host provider. Having struck a deal with rival ISP Tiscali to utilise its 3.5GHz fixed-wireless networks, Fastweb went one step further late last year when it acquired Tiscali’s fixed-wireless business, including its rights to 3.5GHz spectrum. At the same time, Fastweb also entered the government’s 5G spectrum auction, paying EUR32.6 million (USD36 million) for a 26GHz licence.
With 3.5GHz and 26GHz frequencies at its disposal, Fastweb is looking to roll out its own 5G infrastructure, having recently signed a ten-year network sharing agreement with Wind Tre which plans to cover 90% of the population by 2026.