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Italy’s telecoms lobby requests to reschedule payments of 5G spectrum

Italy’s telecoms lobby, in a letter to the industry minister, has asked to reschedule more than 4 billion euros ($4.54 billion) in payments due later this year from its fifth-generation mobile spectrum auction.

Stiffer price competition has led to a steady drop in revenue since Italy raised €6.5 billion in its 5G mobile auction. This has put the sector’s margins under pressure, Massimo Sarmi, head of telecoms lobby Asstel, said in a letter to Italy’s Industry Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti.

Sarmi added in the letter dated Feb 16 that it would be hard for mobile operators to make the payments in a single year as it could dampen their ability to finance other areas of business.

Italy’s biggest telecoms company Telecom Italia and rival Vodafone, the top spenders at the auction, are due to pay about €1.7 billion (US$1.93 billion) respectively by end-September. CNA

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