Tiscali to build 4G network on 3.5GHz

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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Italian operator plans to build LTE ‘wireless fibre to the home’ network covering half of country

Italian operator Tiscali is to build a nationwide LTE-Advanced network that it plans to cover 50% of households and businesses by next year.

The company – which sold its business division to Swisscom’s Fastweb in late 2016 – is calling the 4G service “wireless fibre to the home”. It will be offering 100Mbps on 3.5GHz spectrum.

It plans to spend €40 million expanding its current 4G network, which has 160 cells, to 500 by the end of 2017 and 1,000 within 18 months, according to an interview with CEO Riccardo Ruggiero in an Italian newspaper.

The goal is to switch ADSL customers over to the 4G service, he said. Tiscali already uses 4G for 15,000 of its 700,000 customers. It has an estimated 6% of the Italian broadband market. The company has set up a value-added services division and is planning to offer content services. “For us the issue of content is extremely important,” he told Corriere delle Comunicazioni.

More than a decade ago Tiscali was one of the pioneers of ADSL services, with operations in a number of countries across Europe. It gradually closed or sold most of these, withdrawing to Italy, where it is based in Sardinia.