A rural 5G network sharing agreement involving Italian operators WINDTRE and Iliad has moved one step closer with the news that the firms have reached an agreement with trade unions over the transfer of WINDTRE employees to a new joint venture (JV). As reported in CommsUpdate in mid-March, WINDTRE and Iliad are considering a joint 5G rollout in rural areas to cut costs. WINDTRE is proposing to transfer 7,000 rural mobile towers and around 50 employees to a new unit and Iliad will acquire a 50% stake, with the JV used to build the shared 5G infrastructure. The towers cover around 25% of Italy’s population. A report from CorCom says the pair are looking to have the tie-up approved by regulators and finalised by 30 June.