TIM prepared to extend 5G network sharing to Iliad

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Iliad asks regulator, Arcom, to assess the impact of Vodafone’s infrastructure-sharing agreement with TIM.

Italian website CorCom reported TIM’s CEO, Luigi Gubitosi, saying his company be happy to include Iliad in the 5G partnership with Vodafone, after Iliad asked the regulator to investigate whether the 5G tie-up between Vodafone and TIM was anti-competitive.

Vodafone and TIM put their 5G agreement in place earlier this year to help both parties accelerate deployment and cut costs.

At the same time, the two expanded their passive infrastructure-sharing deal, making it nationwide.

The more the better

"The architecture of the agreement is open and we would like it if other operators participated," said Gubitosi on Wednesday. "If Iliad wants to be part of the game with us, we will be pleased."

The Italian 5G auction raised more than €6.6 billion in bids, hence the operators’ desire to keep deployment costs down.

TIM plans to launch 5G early to mid-summer, Gubitosi said. Its network-sharing deal with Vodafone is expected to go live in August.

Iliad, which operates under the Free brand in France, entered the Italian market in 2018, and is selling off assets to reduce debt.

This week Vodafone announced it would cut its dividend for the first times in years due in part to the high costs of 5G.