FiberCop, a joint venture between TIM (Telecom Italia), KKR Infrastructure, and Fastweb, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Iliad Italia, a wireless carrier, for wholesale access on, and co-investment into, its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network in Italy. Notably, Iliad Italia’s parent company, Iliad SA, already offers fixed broadband services in France and has indicated that it plans to launch fixed broadband services in Italy, after summer 2021.

TIM (Telecom Italia), the majority owner of FiberCop, will also offer wholesale access on its primary fiber network to Iliad Italia.

FiberCop and Iliad Italia – Fiber Network Partnership

FiberCop and Iliad Italia’s partnership will accelerate the migration of households and businesses in Italy from legacy copper services to fiber connections, enabling speeds of over 1 gigabit per second. Specifically, through its new fixed broadband service, Iliad Italia will capture both:

  1. New subscribers seeking fiber broadband services; and
  2. Customers switching from existing, lower-quality broadband providers in Italy

For example, Iliad Italia could win subscribers from operators including TIM (Telecom Italia), Fastweb, Vodafone Italia, and Wind Tre.

Co-Investment Model

Iliad Italia will co-invest in the deployment of fiber for FiberCop’s fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network in Italy. Co-investment allows for all operators to share the investment and benefits (i.e., open access) from building-out fiber infrastructure.

Open Access Wholesale Fiber Network

TIM (Telecom Italia) has already signed wholesale access agreements with other national operators in Italy, such as Fastweb and Tiscali.

FiberCop – Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Roll-Out Plan

FiberCop is majority-owned by TIM (Telecom Italia) with a 58% stake, KKR Infrastructure holding a 37.5% interest, and Fastweb with 4.5% ownership. The joint venture currently offers fixed broadband services, via fiber-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) and fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) technology, to 93% of Italy’s population.

FiberCop’s agreement with Iliad Italia pushes its business plan closer to providing fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) coverage for 75% of the gray and black areas of Italy by 2025. Definitionally, black areas constitute areas in which 2+ ultrabroadband (UBB) networks of different operators are present, while gray areas have 1 other ultrabroadband (UBB) network.

Iliad Italia – Overview

Iliad Italia has over 7.8 million wireless subscribers as of June 30, 2021. Indeed, this represents a strong base of customers from which to cross-sell its fixed broadband services.

To-date, Iliad Italia has taken an infrastructure-light approach to building-out both its wireless and fixed broadband businesses. As it relates to fixed broadband, the company has wholesale access agreements with both FiberCop and Open Fiber in Italy.

Iliad SA – Take-Private Offer

Notably, in July 2021, Xavier Niel, the controlling shareholder of Iliad SA, made a €3.1bn take-private offer for the company. Specifically, Niel is offering to buy the remaining 29% of shares in Iliad SA that he does not already own.

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