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Italy's regulator opens public consultation into extending 3.5GHz licences

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The 2018 spectrum auction raised eye-watering amounts of money; neighbouring bands cost a fraction of what the operators paid.

Italy’s Communications Regulatory Authority (Autorita per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni, Agcom) has opened a public consultation into extending 3.5GHz licences for wireless broadband services.

Italian operators collectively paid €6.5 billion for blocks for 5G spectrum in October 2018, attracting widespread criticism.

Those involved in this auction complained that existing wireless broadband licensees Aria (now part of Fastweb), Linkem, GO internet and Mandarin were all able to use frequencies in neighbouring bands for a fraction of the cost.

In November 2019, an Italian court supported the regulator's decision to extend existing 3.5GHz permits for six years to the end of 2029, but it said that the financial side of the extension should be clarified.