LIVE FROM ZTE 5G SUMMIT, STRESA, ITALY: Cosimo Buccella, CTO of Italian wholesale provide OpNet (pictured) lauded the potential of 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) in Italy due to patchy progress in fibre rollouts, as he detailed plans to target operators with its infrastructure.

Speaking to Mobile World Live after his presentation, Buccella explained OpNet aimed to provide FWA infrastructure to domestic mobile operators, alongside other connectivity services targeted at the industrial and the business sectors.

“There is a big push on fibre but Italy is a complex scenario,” he said, explaining this meant operators “need to cover some specific areas also with FWA”.

He indicated with operators preoccupied with using their spectrum assets to serve increasing mobile consumption, the hope was OpNet could aid them with an FWA offering using 5G.

In its previous guise of Linkem, the company provided fixed over WiMax as part of a broader portfolio. Although often cited as a technology suited to connecting rural areas without fibre access, the executive extolled virtues of fixed over its standalone 5G infrastructure in urban areas too, with strong performances recorded in Rome and other cities.

He noted the technology was a strong compliment to fibre, adding it could “provide connectivity in five days” something “not possible with a fixed line”.

Italian operators with access to C-Band spectrum are looking at FWA as a new use case, he added.

OpNet’s active targeting of FWA in Italy comes as protracted attempts to create a single fibre network in the nation continue, which supporters believe will speed the provision of fast broadband across the nation.