Italy’s Fastweb could launch 5G this year

7 Oct 2020

Italian ISP Fastweb is preparing to launch 5G services by the end of this year, according to local press reports. Tecno Android reproduces a customer contact with Fastweb asking when the new SIM cards it markets as 5G-compatible will be able to utilise the new technology and the company responded: ‘Our SIM is ready for 5G, which will start to be available from the end of the year, increasing the coverage and speed up to 1Gbps; it will be available to all our customers at no cost.’

Swiss-owned Fastweb is active in the fixed broadband sector and is also one of the country’s largest MVNOs, but made a move to becoming a fully-fledged MNO when it acquired 26GHz spectrum in a 2018 auction and bought Tiscali’s 3.5GHz TD-LTE business the same year.

In June 2019 Fastweb signed a ten-year 5G network sharing agreement with WINDTRE which plans to cover 90% of the population by 2026. The nationwide network will include WINDTRE and Fastweb macro and small cells, connected through dark fibre from Fastweb. WINDTRE will manage the 5G network, while both operators will offer commercial services independently over the shared infrastructure. WINDTRE is also expected to launch 5G services by the end of the year.