The Italian government confirmed Telecom Italia, Vodafone, Wind Tre, Iliad and Fastweb submitted offers for 5G frequencies

The Italian government raised a preliminary 2.48 billion euros ($2.87 billion) in an auction of 5G frequencies, the country’s Ministry of Economic Development said in a statement.

The government confirmed that Telecom Italia, Vodafone Italia, Wind Tre, Iliad and Swisscom’s Fastweb submitted initial bids for 5G spectrum. The bidders will have time to increase their offers until 13 September.

According to international press reports, Telecom Italia offered 951 million euros for four blocks of spectrum, followed by Iliad (749 million euros) and Vodafone Italia (716 million euros).

As a newcomer, Illiad was allowed to bid for a reserved package of up to three blocks in the 700 MHz band, for which it would to pay 676.5 million euros.

Other operators — including fixed services providers Linkem and Open Fiber, which had qualified to submit offers in the process — did not take part in the spectrum auction.

The Italian government approved the 5G tender process in July 2018. Telecom regulator Agcom previously confirmed that the tender will include the auction of frequencies in 694 MHz to 790 MHz; 3.6 GHz to 3.8 GHz; and 26.5 GHz to 27.5 GHz bands. Agcom also highlighted that the rules for the upcoming tender process are designed to help to create new entrants which focus purely on infrastructure. The frequencies in the 700 MHz band are currently used by several TV groups including Mediaset, state broadcaster RAI and Cairo, which would all have to free up the spectrum.

The regulator added that two blocks of 80 megahertz and two blocks of 20 megahertz will be made available in the 3.6 GHz to 3.8 GHz bands, while five lots of 200 megahertz will be available in the 26.5 GHz to 27.5 GHz bands.

Italian operators are currently carrying out several trials to pave the way for the launch of commercial 5G services in the country.

In July, Vodafone Italia announced the completion of what it claims to be the first 5G data connection in Italy via New Radio Non-Standalone (NSA) standards. The company used Huawei and Nokia networks and devices in the 3.7-3.8 GHz band made available by MISE to complete the connection in the city of Milan.

In March of this year, local carrier TIM, together with compatriot broadband provider Fastweb and vendor Huawei, announced the activation of the first 5G antenna in the city of Matera as part of a 5G trial being promoted by the Italian government. The BariMatera5G project will allow the Italian cities of Bari and Matera to be among the first areas in the world to be covered by the new generation of mobile technology.

Earlier this year, Huawei announced the completion of the first 5G trial in the city of Turin, in Italy, in partnership with TIM and Fastweb. Huawei said a net throughput of more than 3 Gbps has been achieved using 100 megahertz of spectrum. The 5G trial also reached a spectral efficiency of 30 bits/second/hertz, which is about seven times higher than advanced 4G technology.




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