TIM unveils €11bn investment plan

James Pearce
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Telecom Italia will spend €5bn to boost its ultra-broadband network in its home market, while also splashing out on premium content

Telecom Italia (TIM) has unveiled plans to invest €11 billion to boost its network and add more premium digital services over the next three years.

The investments will be focussed around TIM’s home market and will see the operator boost its LTE network to cover more than 99% of the Italian population by the end of 2019. It will also increase the reach of its fibre network to 95% in the same timeframe.

By the end of the €5 billion network investment, which was approved by the TIM board, 50 major towns and cities will have connection speeds of up to 1GB, TIM said.

TIM said it will also invest heavily in convergence and content. The Italian incumbent has already announced a partnership with national broadcaster RAI which allow subscribers to its on-demand television platform, TIMvision, watch premieres of all 20 films released by Rai Cinema over recent months.

The initiative follows a previous agreement that gave TIMvision subscribers access to a number of RAI products, including more than 200 films and more than 500 hours of TV programmes.

Antonio Campo Dall’Orto, RAI’s general manager, said: “This agreement [is] a result that has been made possible thanks to the further concrete achievement of a shared strategy with TIM, with a view to becoming a public service media company that does not see itself as a competitor, but rather a “driver” of the Italian production industry.”

The announcement came off the pack of TIM’s latest financial results, which saw group sales increase by 0.8% to €5.3 billion in Q4.

Revenues within Italy were up 2.7% in the final three months of 2016, while EBITDA grew 20%, the best results Telecom Italia has posted in its home market since 2007.

CEO Flavio Cattaneo said: “The initiative confirms our strategy, aiming to speed up on quadruple play. Together with RAI, we are also working on the launch of further joint projects aimed at developing film, television drama and audiovisual works."