The deal will allow Fastweb to have access to Cellnex’s infrastructure in areas where the telco is testing 5G technology

European telecom infrastructure firm Cellnex and Italian telecom operator Fastweb have signed a cooperation agreement to deploy a 5G network in Italy.

Under the terms of the deal, Cellnex will make its sites available to Fastweb, which will allow Fastweb to speed up the development of 5G networks in some areas of the cities where the company is currently testing the next-generation technology, such as Rome, Genoa, Bari and Matera.

“Through this agreement, Fastweb confirms its commitment to play a leading role in developing 5G infrastructure and services in Italy and today the company has added another key element to its strategy to position itself as the first Italian fixed-mobile telephony operator that is fully convergent for 2020,” said Andrea Lasagna, Fastweb technology manager, in a statement.

“The agreement with Fastweb represents one more step in our strategy to create innovative multi-operator infrastructures” said Alfonso Álvarez, deputy GM of Cellnex Italia. “We are proud that an operator such as Fastweb has chosen our infrastructure for testing 5G, a technology that will offer better connectivity, at high speed, capable of handling an unprecedented amount of data.”

Cellnex Telecom owns a total portfolio of 28,000 sites across Europe. Cellnex operates in Spain, Italy, Netherlands, France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

In September, Italian operator TIM and Fastweb, in partnership with Chinese vendor Huawei, activated what they claim is the first commercial 5G base station in the city of Bari, the second city in the Bari Matera 5G project which is being supported by the Italian government. In March this year, the three partners activated the first 5G antenna in the city of Matera as part of the Bari Matera 5G trial. The project enables the two Italian cities to be among the first areas in the world to be covered by 5G.

Vodafone completes 5G call in Portugal

In related 5G news, Vodafone Potugal has presented the first prototype of a 5G smartphone in Portugal, connected to a pre-commercial network of Ericsson. In addition to the smartphone, two more examples of the technology were presented, namely the first video call in a virtual reality environment held in Portugal and a multiplayer VR game. The demos took place at Vodafone Portugal’s HQ and the represented its first connection of a 5G smartphone with Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies.

In June this year, Vodafone Portugal announced the creation of its 5G hub to foster the development of this technology in the country. Located at the company’s headquarters in Lisbon, Vodafone’s 5G Hub was envisioned as an open center for knowledge and innovation that will bring together partners from telecommunications, industry, universities, researchers and startups, the telco said.

The lab was developed in partnership with Ericsson, and Vodafone said that it would be used to to create the necessary conditions to test and deliver practical use cases, by providing 5G standardized radio and core network as well as access to service platforms.

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