Tower company Inwit and fixed player Open Fiber pledged to collaborate on the provision of fixed wireless access (FWA) connectivity in areas lacking high-speed broadband services in Italy.

Under the terms of the deal Inwit, in which Telecom Italia and Vodafone Group each hold interests, will construct up to 500 new sites alongside related maintenance facilities. Open Fiber is set to provide fibre connections to the sites and supply FWA kit.

The infrastructure is touted to help deliver coverage in 600 municipalities with the ultimate aim of cutting the digital divide. It will be focused in areas where access to fibre is limited or absent.

Inwit stated the deal strengthened its role as the “main neutral host operator in Italy” noting the move allowed it to meet the growing demand for FWA infrastructure from the country’s service providers.

Open Fiber added the facilities would improve coverage in small municipalities and inland areas which are hard to reach with fibre-to-the-home infrastructure.

The move is the latest effort to improve connectivity in Italy’s rural areas, which also includes a pact between Telecom Italia and Open Fiber to widen their combined footprint.