Vodafone and Telecom Italia finalize network sharing partnership for 5G roll-out

Tech Intelligence Bulletin (HG Insights) – Vodafone Italia and Telecom Italia Group (TIM) have finalized a Network Sharing Partnership to jointly roll-out 5G infrastructure in Italy and to extend their existing passive sharing arrangements.

The Network Sharing Partnership will enable active network sharing in cities with populations of up to 100,000 people, supporting a faster deployment of 5G over a wider geographic area, at a lower cost, and with a lower environmental impact. Vodafone Italia and TIM will also implement active network sharing for their existing 2G and 4G networks, in order to support 5G active network sharing.

Key role for 5G in Italy

Aldo Bisio, CEO of Vodafone Italia, said, “This agreement will enable us to step up the rollout of 5G for the benefit of our customers and the community as a whole. 5G has a key role to play in modernizing the country. It will provide the technology platform from which to launch innovative new services capable of making business models more efficient and improving productivity throughout the value chain, helping to build a more competitive digital economy. Network sharing reaps the benefits of 5G and at the same time reduces the impact on the environment and lowers rollout costs, allowing more investment in services for customers.”

5G new features

Vodafone Italia and TIM intend to upgrade their respective mobile transmission networks, adding higher capacity optical fiber cables (“Fiber-to-the-Site” or “Backhauling”). This will enable customers to benefit from 5G’s new features, such as faster speeds and low latency, and will allow both companies to operate more efficiently.

Vodafone Italia and TIM have also extended their existing passive sharing agreement, from approximately 10,000 sites today (approximately 45% of the Parties’ combined passive towers), to a nationwide agreement. The objective is to accelerate and enhance the deployment of 5G technology and use network infrastructure more efficiently, both in urban and rural areas.

Innovate and compete

Vodafone Italia and TIM will continue to roll out and operate active network infrastructure independently in Italy’s biggest cities. Both companies will retain separate management of their spectrum rights, management of their network performance, control and functionality of their respective core networks, as well as development of new products and services. This will enable each company to maintain full flexibility to innovate and compete to meet the needs of their respective customers.