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Italy’s highest court backs 3.5GHz licence extensions

31 Mar 2021

Italy’s Council of State (Consiglio di Stato, CdS) has approved the extension of wireless broadband licences in the 3.5GHz band held by GO internet, Fastweb, Linkem and Mandarin. Cellcos TIM, Vodafone and Iliad had launched an appeal to halt the six-year extensions at the proposed prices, saying the operators were getting access to 3.5GHz frequencies at a much lower cost than what they themselves had paid at auction for 3.7GHz spectrum in 2018. Although TIM and Vodafone had each paid close to EUR1.7 billion (USD2 billion) for their licences, the extension of Linkem’s 3.5GHz concession from end-2023 to end-2029 will cost the company EUR40 million, while Fastweb will pay EUR27.14 million, GO will pay EUR2.6 million and Mandarin will be charged EUR1.14 million.

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