Vodafone Group spent big in Italy’s 5G auction but warned European governments against inflating prices for spectrum

Vodafone has spent a total of €2.4 billion to acquire the spectrum that will underpin its 5G network rollout in Italy. 

The company acquired spectrum in the 700MHz, 3.6GHz and 26GHz bands, which will allow it to offer a diverse portfolio of services to its customers when it launches 5G in Italy. 
With operators spending more than €6 billion at Italy’s 5G spectrum auction, Vodafone Group’s CEO, Nick Read, warned European governments against trying to artificially inflate spectrum prices in an attempt to boost short term revenues. 
“Auctions should be designed to balance fiscal requirements with the need for investment to enable economic development. Telecoms is the sector that enables all other sectors to participate in the Gigabit society. It is critical that European governments avoid artificial auction constructs which fail to strike a healthy balance for the industry,” he said. 
Vodafone acquired 80MHz of 3700MHz spectrum, at a cost of €1.685. This spectrum will be available to use from January 2019 and has a licence duration of 19 years.
The company spent a further €683 million on two 10MHz blocks of 700MHz spectrum. However, this spectrum will not be available for use until July 2022. 
Vodafone also spent €33 million on 200MHz of 26GHz spectrum, which will be available from January 2019. Vodafone will use this spectrum to deliver high capacity services in densely populated locations such as city centres, sports stadia or industrial plants. 
Milan – Europe’s 5G capital 
Vodafone has also announced plans to make Milan Europe’s 5G capital. Building on a series of 5G trials and initiatives in collaboration with the Ministry for Economic Development in Milan and its metropolitan area, Vodafone expects to have achieved 80 per cent 5G mobile network coverage in the city of Milan and its surrounding metropolotan area by the end of December 2018. 
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