Vodafone Italy Secures Additional Spectrum

Vodafone Italy has been awarded a total of 60 MHz (2×30 MHz) of new spectrum in the Italian government’s auction, enabling the mobile operator provide its customers with enhanced mobile internet services across the country, including in rural areas.

Vodafone Italy says the spectrum award will support its plans to develop the next generation of wireless data services using Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. In developing LTE services, it says it will draw on the experience of Vodafone Germany, which launched LTE towards the end of 2010.

Vodafone Italy bid successfully for a total of 20 MHz (2×10 MHz) in the 800 MHz band, 10 MHz (2x5MHz) in the 1.8 GHz band, and 30 MHz (2x15MHz) in the 2.6 GHz band, for a total consideration of €1.26bn (£1.1bn). The 800 MHz ‘digital dividend’ spectrum will become available in January 2013 after the local television stations have freed it up. The 1.8GHz band will become available by the end of 2011, and the 2.6 GHz spectrum band by the end of 2012.

The operator says that the additional spectrum and ongoing network investments will enable it to build on its success in delivering mobile internet services to its customers. Over the last financial year, Vodafone Italy saw strong growth in the uptake of smartphones and mobile internet services, helping to boost mobile data revenue growth by around 22 per cent.