5G in Italy: after a good start, technology is treading water

The operators of the Boot spent a huge amount of money to launch the fifth generation technology, which is struggling to take off. And it is not necessarily the fault of consumers.

In Italy, 5G was much earlier than in France, where we are still at the auction stage , including the second phase (that of the acquisition of the 11 additional 10 MHz blocks from the “core” band 3,4 – 3.8 GHz) will start between September 20 and 30. However, on the Peninsula side, the technology offered by telecommunications operators is skating frankly.

5G auction brought 6.5 billion euros to the Italian government in 2018

On the other side of the Alps, the enthusiasm for 5G was such that almost two years ago, in October 2018, the auctions had resulted in a sale of frequencies at exceptionally high prices. By the end of the year, the government had ended the auction procedure by pocketing 6.5 billion euros. It is simply three times more than what the French State hopes with Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Free, around 2.2 billion euros.

But while the proliferation of sectors and uses that can benefit from 5G (such as connected objects, remote surgery, commerce, robotization of industry or even digitization) held out promising promises, the mobile technology of fifth generation idles.

Consumers are not to blame, on the contrary. Today, they suffer from administrative concerns, which have consequences for Italian operators and the deployment of 5G equipment.

Paperwork delays large-scale deployment of 5G in Italy

In the last two years in Italy, the use of smartphones has literally exploded, even going so far as to be more in demand than the laptop . And the haste to develop the Italian 5G network led companies to bear costs that were ultimate ” significantly higher than other countries ” as well as a ” sharp drop in profitability “, in the words of number two of Wind Tre, the second operator of the country’s mobile network with around 24 million subscribers.

Another thorn in the side is paperwork. In Italy, the authorizations to install 5G equipment vary according to regions, even municipalities, which can lead to serious disparities on the Peninsula. The administrative aspect therefore greatly delays the deployment of the technology, which is only offered in certain large cities. The market leader, TIM (Telecom Italia), for example, offers 5G in nine Italian cities including Rome, Naples, Turin or Florence, and soon Milan, with the aim of covering the entire population within five to six years.

For the development of 5G to resume, operators expect the government to maintain the tax benefits. A drop in prices for 5G compatible smartphones is also expected. As for the packages, the prices remain much higher than in some countries.

False information about the health impact of technology can also harm the deployment of 5G. Iliad, which has 6 million subscribers thanks to its transalpine subsidiary, calls for ” denying the fake news around 5G, which risks slowing down a deployment which would allow the digital development of the country “. All over Europe, some consider that 5G facilitates the spread of the coronavirus and that it has consequences on the health of users.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *