Italian operator Tiscali has denied recent press reports that its deal to sell 40 MHz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band to Fastweb for a total of EUR 150 million could be revised in the wake of the 5G spectrum auction held last month. In a statement, Sardinia-based operator Tiscali said the agreement to sell 5G-ready spectrum as well as its Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) division to Fastweb is on course to complete as agreed by the end of this month. Business daily Il Sole 24 Ore had previously reported that Fastweb was set to pay a further EUR 30-40 million for the 3.5 GHz spectrum licence and a network of 836 towers in a wholesale deal that would in turn see Tiscali continue to provide LTE FWA services to its customers.
Last month senators from the Five Star Movement (M5S) reportedly already asked industry minister Luigi Di Maio to probe a request from WiMax providers including Linkem, Tiscali, Go Internet, Mandarin and TIM for a 6-year extension to licences in the 3.5 GHz band. The senators reportedly said the extensions would be “totally unjustified” and “discriminatory towards the remaining players in the market” after they shelled out more than EUR 4 billion for spectrum in the 3.7 GHz band alone in last month’s 5G auction.
Operators who took part in that auction including Iliad Italia are also preparing to challenge the country’s communications regulator Agcom if it finally grants the licence renewals, according to another recent report.