A Bloomberg report reveals that the two companies have signed a non-disclosure agreement about the potential collaboration on a 5G network, with the deal about to close in the first quarter of 2019.
The partnership could include sharing wireless towers and radio equipment and potentially granting each other access to the 4.8 billion euros ($5.4 billion) in 5G spectrum the two companies purchased in this year’s auction, a source close to the companies said.
However, neither Telecom Italia nor Vodafone has confirmed the deal yet.
The joint initiative by two rivals would help accelerate the rollout of next-generation mobile services in the country. Hence the deal is most likely to get fast approval from the government.
It is observed that the companies may enter into an extensive infrastructure sharing agreement, which covers towers, radio equipment and spectrum. Such partnerships are gaining popularity as they reduce capex and bring quick ROI.
If materialized, the collaboration between Vodafone and TIM will perturb Wind, the third major operator in the country.
It is significant to note that the three dominating operators in Italian telecom market together contribute over 95 percent of the market value. Vodafone and TIM together account for nearly 65 percent.