The shared 5G network will include Wind Tre’s and Fastweb’s macro and small cells, connected by Fastweb’s dark fibre.
Wind Tre is part of CK Hutchison and is Italy’s largest mobile phone operator. Fastweb is owned by Swisscom and provides broadband. The partners say the deal will speed the roll-out of 5G, and they aim to cover 90% of the population by 2026.
Wind Tre will manage the 5G network, while both operators will remain independent in the commercial and operational use of the shared infrastructure.
As part of the agreement, Wind Tre will provide Fastweb roaming services on Wind Tre’s existing network (4G and legacy technologies), thus allowing Fastweb to extend its mobile coverage to national level. Fastweb will provide Wind Tre with wholesale access to its FTTH (fibre to the home) and FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) network, increasing Wind Tre’s ability to provide ultra-broadband connectivity to wireline customers.
What the CEOs say
Jeffrey Hedberg, CEO, Wind Tre, said, "It is with great expectation that I announce this strategic agreement between Wind Tre and Fastweb. Through this combination of resources, we are accelerating our strategy of ‘re-inventing’ Wind Tre by enabling 5G services and integrated solutions to meet the present and future requirements of our customers.
"Indeed, we are making great progress in modernising our network and IT systems and this partnership represents the next step in ensuring high performance connectivity for our customers. Moreover, this partnership reinforces Wind Tre’s role and its responsibility to enable a 5G ecosystem and to empower the growth and the development of the economy and the country".
Alberto Calcagno, CEO, Fastweb, added, "The agreement with Wind Tre is a fundamental step in the execution of Fastweb strategy to build a sustainable fixed-mobile convergent business.
"We will work through this collaboration to deploy a best-in-class 5G network.
“We are equally proud to make our fibre infrastructure available to Wind Tre and to its wireline customers, as our role as wholesale operator – with ultrabroadband infrastructures available to third parties covering 75% of the population - becomes increasingly relevant in the country".
The agreement is initially for ten years. Fastweb will finance the co-investment agreement from its own cash resources and notes that Swisscom's guidance for 2019 remains unchanged.