Italy raises $7.5bn from its 5G airwaves auction

By Bruno Reis

Italy concluded its two-week long 5G airwaves auction on 2 October, having raised $7.5bn.

The auction collected twice as much funding as the nation’s government had anticipated, according to Bloomberg.

Italy is one of few European countries that offer 5G frequencies, which promise to compete with fibre optic speeds.

The government auctioned 3.7GHz of airwaves, which the Economic Development Ministry claimed offer strong signals in built-up urban areas, for €4.35bn (US$5.03bn).

The Rome and Milan-based Telecom Italia SpA and London-headquartered Vodafone Group Plc acquired the largest blocks, each paying €2.4bn ($2.8bn) for the airwaves.

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Following the purchase, Telecom Italia’s shares increased by 2.6% in Milan on 3 October, reaching 49.5 cents.

The French telecommunications company, Iliad SA, has invested €1.19bn ($1.38bn) into 5G mobile phone frequencies.

This displays the firm’s commitment to the market it recently launched in in May this year.

Wind Tre, the merger between H3G SpA and Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA, placed a bid of €517mn ($598.5mn).

The Italian subsidiary of Swisscom, Fastweb, bid €33mn ($38.2mn) for 5G frequencies.

The telecoms are expected to provide an initial payment this year, followed by installments until 2022 when the majority of the funding will be supplied.

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