Vodafone will invest heavily in wireless broadband in Italy over the next three to four years, pumping up to €1billion into its network in the country.
Local chief Paulo Bertoluzzo said the high-speed wireless network would complete the firm’s broadband coverage in Italy, and is the best means of deploying broadband to rural areas where fiber investment is uneconomical.
Speaking to the press yesterday, Bertoluzzo revealed up to 12% of Italians don’t have sufficient internet connections, with around 1,800 towns lacking broadband, Fox Business reported.
Vodafone plans to extend mobile broadband coverage to around 1,000 towns and villages between 2011 and 2014, Reuters said.
The carrier is also investing heavily in fiber networks in Italy, announcing plans to spend €2.5 billion on fiber in partnership with Wind and FastWeb in May The trio aim to deploy fiber to 10 million homes by 2015.
Italy’s government has encouraged all operators to work together on high-speed broadband rollout, as it seeks to bring coverage levels up to the standard of its European neighbors.
Carriers recent agreed a technical model for upgrading copper lines, which is expected to boost broadband penetration by allowing several different technologies to be deployed.