Swisscom mulls future of Italy unit - Mobile World Live

Swisscom mulls future of Italy unit

16 OCT 2018

Swisscom is reportedly assessing a sale or tie-up for its Italian fixed, broadband and TV business Fastweb, with the country’s mobile operators said to be in the frame for a potential deal.

Bloomberg reported the Swiss operator had already held discussions with Wind Tre parent CK Hutchison, but the latter decided against perusing a deal.

Other potential suitors were not named by sources, but back in 2014, FastWeb was rumoured to be a target for Vodafone as part of a drive to boost its converged service offer in Italy.

Swisscom acquired Fastweb in 2007 for €3.1 billion and initially focused on landline, broadband and TV services. A year later, the company launched an MVNO running on Telecom Italia’s network and began offering quadplay services.

In July, the company announced it had struck a deal to acquire 40MHz of 5G-suitable 3.5GHz spectrum, primarily covering major Italian cities, earmarked for fixed wireless access. The agreement was part of a €150 million deal for the fixed wireless branch of rival Tiscali.

Fastweb also took part in the early rounds of Italy’s auction of 5G frequencies but failed to win any of the spectrum on offer in the bumper €6.5 billion sale.

Three of Italy’s four mobile operators are able to offer fixed-mobile bundles with Vodafone and Telecom Italia also selling TV packages. However, according to regulator Agcom figures for 2017, Telecom Italia held a fixed line market share of over 50 per cent and supplied over 45 per cent of home broadband connections.

In broadband connections Fastweb, Vodafone and Wind Tre had a share of between 14 and 15 per cent each.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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