Italian wholesale network operator Open Fiber and fixed-wireless access (FWA) provider Linkem have partnered to trial 5G broadband wireless technology utilising Linkem’s 3.5GHz frequency licence. The firms say they will carry out tests aimed at providing improved 5G connectivity for users in rural regions. Open Fiber is making its fibre backhaul networks available for the trials, while Linkem’s 3.5GHz infrastructure will be used for the last-mile connection. The partners are aiming to launch commercial services in 2021. Open Fiber has won three government tenders under which it has agreed to provide high speed internet access in over 7,000 unserved and underserved rural communities.
Separately, the Italian government’s Infratel division, which is tasked with coordinating the development of communications services in Italian regions, has launched a new EUR13 million (USD14.5 million) tender to deploy fibre-optic networks in 66 municipalities in the regions of Abruzzo, Calabria, Puglia, Tuscany and Sardinia.