Swisscom's Fastweb has signed an agreement to acquire Tiscali's fixed wireless branch of business and full ownership of 3.5 GHz spectrum that can be used to build 5G network.
The value of the deal will be approximately 150 million euro.
Fastweb, the leading alternative ultra-broadband provider in Italy, is also offering mobile services as a virtual network operator based on a MVNO contract with Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM) since 2017, which includes a nationwide 4G mobile communications coverage. With this approach, Fastweb was able to significantly increase its customer base and share of convergence. Fastweb has extended the MVNO agreement until the year-end 2020 and will leverage 4G services on TIM's network.
Since December 2016, Fastweb has the right to use 3.5 GHz spectrum in main Italian cities (20% population coverage) leased from Aria, a subsidiary of Tiscali. Fastweb will now acquire full ownership of such frequency, together with the Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) branch from Tiscali Italia, a subsidiary of Tiscali.
The branch of business includes the FWA infrastructure composed by about 835 towers, its equipment and 34 specialized FTEs (mainly engineers). At the same time, Tiscali enters into a wholesale agreement (with a contract value of EUR 40 million) on Fastweb’s network.
With this transaction, Fastweb intends to get long-term access to valuable 5G spectrum, 40 MHz at 3.5GHz band, thus reinforcing its convergent ambitions as alternative network operator. In addition, Fastweb will provide fixed wireless connectivity to all market segments in extended digital-divide areas via its access network and through fiber optics access network in other areas.