Telecom Italia AGrees to Spin Off Landline Assets
Published on: 30th May 2013
By: Ian Mansfield
Telecom Italia has finally decided that it will be splitting off its landline access network into a separate company. The firm has been debating the issue since earlier this year.
The assets and resources for developing and managing the passive access network (both copper and fibre) and the active components of the fibre consisting of OLT (Optical Line Termination) and cabinet will be spun off to the new company. The new structure will guarantee all operators (OLOs and Telecom Italia) access to the fixed-line network, in application of the European-denominated "Equivalence of Input" (EoI) model of equality of treatment.
The new company will offer to all operators services including Unbundling of the Local Loop (ULL) and Virtual Unbundling Line Access (VULA) for next-generation networks leveraging FTTCab and FTTH architecture.
The assets are said to have a valuation in the region of USD18 billion.
Talks are still ongoing though with Cassa Depositi e Prestiti about its potential acquisition of a 30% stake in the access network company, which would go a long way towards helping Telecom Italia shrink its debt.
The company has around USD37 billion of debt -- more than its share price based market capitalisation.
The company is also still in talks about a possible merger of its mobile network with Hutchison Whampoa's local Three unit.