Telcos win appeal against 3.5GHz licence renewal

27 Nov 2019

A group of Italian telcos have won a legal challenge against the extension of licences held by rival operators in the 3.5GHz band. The Regional Administrative Court (Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale, TAR) of Lazio has accepted the appeal entered by Telecom Italia (TIM), Vodafone and Iliad against the six-year extension of 3.5GHz concessions to 31 December 2029. 3.5GHz licences held by Aria (part of Fastweb), GO internet, Linkem and Mandarin had been due to expire at end-2023, and in 2018 these firms requested and were granted an extension to the validity of their permits.

This move was challenged by TIM, Vodafone and Iliad, however, on the grounds that they had paid considerably more for frequencies in the neighbouring 3.6GHz range in the government’s October 2018 5G spectrum auction. Mondo Mobile Web reports that the TAR has accepted their appeal, although it adds that its finding does not rule against the extension itself but solely the financial aspect of the renewal.