Italian telcos Fastweb and Linkem have signed a long-term deal to share the use of 5G fixed-wireless equipment to accelerate their respective rollouts in rural areas of the country. Both companies currently utilise the 3.5GHz band for the provision of fixed-wireless access (FWA) services. The firms say that they will be able to offer gigabit-capable services to eight million households in rural areas which are not currently connected to fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks. They add that rollout costs and deployment times will be ‘significantly lower’ than those for FTTH.
Fastweb hopes to cover 16 million premises across Italy by 2024 using a combination of fibre and fixed-wireless technologies, while Linkem already claims to have reached 70% of the population with its own FWA rollout.