In separate interviews with Italian daily Corriere delle Communicazioni, mobile operators 3 Italia, Vodafone Italy and Wind Telecomunicazione (Wind Italy) have divulged rollout plans for their imminent Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks.
Stefano Parisse, director of Strategy and New Business at Vodafone Italy, confirmed that his company intends to commence its EUR1 billion (USD1.38 billion) rollout in 2012, with a ‘massive launch’ to follow in 2013.
Meanwhile, Hutchison Whampoa-owned 3 Italia’s chief operating officer Dina Ravera claimed that the cellco will be the first to market when it launches LTE using the 1800MHz band during 2012. Ravera confirmed that the operator will invest around EUR1 billion in its 4G deployment over the next three years – approximately three times the amount that the cellco splashed out in the spectrum auction itself. Ravera is confident that 3’s LTE network will deliver speeds of more than 100Mbps. Finally, Wind Italy also intends to begin its LTE rollout in 2012, aiming to launch services in all ‘major Italian cities’ during 2013.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in late September, after 22 days and 469 separate rounds of bidding, Italy’s Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico (Ministry of Economic Development, MdSE) confirmed that the country’s spectrum auction finally closed, with the four mobile network operators – Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM), Vodafone Italy, Wind Italy and 3 Italia – submitting combined bids worth in excess of EUR3.9 billion.