In an effort to keep up with competitors in the region, Vodafone Italy has recently introduced its LTE (News - Alert) network in two key Italian markets---Rome and Milan. The company also revealed its plan to launch its 4G network in an additional 20 cities by March 2013.
Earlier this month, the company revealed its intention to unveil LTE services on November 7, covering Milan, Turin, Rome and Naples. The fast-forwarding of the launch by almost a week is clearly due to it wanting to beat out its closest rival TIM, according to some industry watchers.
The launch follows extensive trials at Vodafone’s (News - Alert) research facility in Ivrea, a town in the northwest region of the country. While the 4G LTE connection will initially be provided via an Internet Key 4G USB dongle, a Wi-Fi device and a Samsung (News - Alert) Galaxy 8.9 tablet, the package costs around $38 per month and includes up to 15GB of data allowance.
It will be worthwhile to mention here that in late September of last year, Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development (MdSE) confirmed that the country’s LTE spectrum auction closed, with all four mobile network operators including Telecom Italia (News - Alert) Mobile (TIM), Vodafone, Wind Italy and 3 Italia submitting bids. Vodafone secured three blocks of 2.6GHz spectrum, paying around $46.65 million per allocation, going on to acquire two blocks of 800MHz spectrum as well as frequencies in the 1800MHz band, which were valued at $206. 06 million.
In other news, Vodafone Group revealed it has teamed with Gemalto to provide and operate its global Trusted Service Management (TSM) platform and deploy NFC services solutions.
Edited by Jamie Epstein