Telecom Italia (TIM) says it has switched on fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology at around 700 locations in rural areas of the country to help cope with increased demand for broadband connectivity as people stay at home during the COVID-19 crisis. The firm’s CEO Luigi Gubitosi told Corriere della Sera: ‘We have added 5,000 new cabinets in the so-called white areas that allow us to quickly connect a million more people to the ultrabroadband service, with all the advantages that come with it in terms of connection speed.’ Existing ADSL customers in these areas will be migrated to connections which use FTTC and VDSL technologies to achieve peak download speeds of up to 200Mbps. Gubitosi added: ‘TIM’s network is well built. It is very solid and stable and can hold additional traffic with no problems.’
Meanwhile, TIM has announced that the merger of its 60%-owned mobile tower unit Inwit with the tower business of Vodafone Italy will be completed on 31 March. The cellcos will each have a 37.5% stake in the enlarged tower company, with existing Inwit shareholders taking the remainder. The firms are considering selling off additional Inwit shares to reduce their respective stakes to a minimum of 25%, while maintaining joint control.
Separately, the US investment firm Elliott Management has reduced its stake in TIM Group from 9.72% to 6.97%, as part of what it called a ‘portfolio rebalancing’. Reuters reports that Elliott ‘remains committed as a TIM investor’ and supports the group’s board and management.