Vodafone Italy has been awarded a total of 60 MHz (2×30 MHz) of new spectrum in the Italian government’s auction, enabling the Company to provide its customers with enhanced mobile internet services across the country, including in rural areas.
The spectrum award will support Vodafone Italy’s plans to develop the next generation of wireless data services using Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology.
LTE transforms the customer experience of the mobile internet, offering high-speed data access and rich multimedia services. In developing LTE services, Vodafone Italy 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 €1,260 million (£1,096 million). The 800 MHz ‘digital dividend’ spectrum will become available in January 2013 after the local television stations have freed it up. The 1.8 GHz band will become available by the end of 2011 and the 2.6 GHz spectrum band will become available by the end of 2012.
The additional spectrum and ongoing network investments will enable Vodafone Italy 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%.