Vodafone Network Sharing Agreements

Vodafone and INWIT have agreed to consolidate their respective tower portfolios and consolidate their C.22,100 passive towers in Italy. This combination should enable ES TIM and Vodafone to introduce 5G infrastructure faster and more efficiently throughout Italy at a lower cost. INWIT will be well positioned in the coming years to provide strong performance, benefit from the commitment of its two anchores for existing and new towers and be better able to offer leases to third-party operators, as the active allocation frees up an additional place on the infrastructure that can be used by other operators. The agreement would continue to enable both companies to have independent strategies in large cities where joint supply efficiency is limited, and to have their own core services and functions in 100% of their networks, as well as separate spectrum and network performance management. In addition, Vodafone Italia and TIM intend to upgrade their respective mobile networks and add higher-capacity fibre-to-the-site (“Backhauling”). This will allow customers to take advantage of the new features of 5G, such as. B faster speeds and low latency, and will allow both companies to work more efficiently. The operator said it has entered into commercial agreements with Samsung, Huawei, LG and Xiaomi to offer 5G smartphones as soon as commercially available. In July 2018, Vodafone Spain began deploying its 5G network in these six cities with the use of a limited number of 5G nodes. The Commission has consistently stated, including in its press release, that the successful development of 5G networks is a “key priority”. On 13 March, the UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom finalised its rules for the next auction of 700 MHz and 3.6-3.8 GHz frequencies for 5G services. For telecommunications companies, which are considering either consolidation or cooperation to ensure that the bill for the introduction of 5G across Europe (up to an estimated 500 billion euros) does not undermine their economic viability, is a useful indication of the attitude that Commissioner Vestager will adopt – in her dual role as competition watchdog and digital policy-makers – to ensure that 5G is a success for all concerned, and in particular for European consumers. Overall, it would be wrong to regard Tim/Vodafone cooperation as a fundamental change in the Commission`s approach.