30 July 2021
Promoter – Financial Intermediary
INFRASTRUTTURE WIRELESS ITALIANE SPA
The project relates to the modernisation and expansion of one of the biggest mobile tower networks in Italy owned by a recently created tower company, the Promoter. The network is composed of steel towers and rooftop sites and it hosts the radio and transmission equipment of several mobile network operators (MNOs) as well as Fixed Wireless Access operators. While the network expansion through new sites will enable a wider coverage particularly for 5G services, the installation of specialised active equipment will increase the indoor mobile network's coverage in challenging locations such as department stores, historic towns, public places as well as in high streets. The tower network will also host increasingly Fixed Wireless Access equipment to enable the fixed-line broadband coverage in less densely populated areas.
Additionality and Impact
The project addresses the market failure of sub investments of Very High Capacity Network / 5G infrastructure in areas previously deemed as unprofitable. Therefore the tower sharing approach will enable the infrastructure rollout to less populated areas due to lower investment costs. The project is fully aligned with the 2025 Gigabit Society targets as well as the targets of the recent 2030 EU Digital Compass, specifically supporting that all populated areas should have 5G coverage. The improved mobile and fixed wireless access (FWA) broadband coverage enabled by the project in rural and/or underserved areas in Italy will have significant impact on the inhabitants and on the regional development, as broadband connections are required to reap the benefits of digitalisation of economic sectors, such as agriculture, tourism and commerce.
The EIB contribution resides in the diversification, flexibility and positive signaling effect from the financing of thematic projects. The EIB's long-term loan will ensure that the project does not have to be scaled back in the context of the current economic uncertainties resulting from the pandemic situation.
The infrastructure deployed as a result of the project will be crucial to expand the coverage and capacity of mobile broadband networks in Italy, by enabling the rollout of additional base stations in poorly covered areas and the densification of the existing networks in urban areas especially in hot spots, with a view on supporting the ongoing rollout of 5G networks.
- Information and communication
Proposed EIB finance (Approximate amount)
EUR 250 million
Total cost (Approximate amount)
EUR 524 million
The installation of mobile telecommunication networks does not fall under Annex I nor II of the EIA Directive. Therefore neither an environmental impact assessment (EIA) nor a screening will be needed as per Directive 2014/52/EU amending the EIA Directive 2011/92/EU. The project includes a small number of new towers. The equipment will also need to comply with the low Italian emission levels. Therefore the project is not expected to have a particular negative residual environmental impact.
Nevertheless, the environmental details including the CO2 footprint (if needed) and other impacts will be assessed during the appraisal.
The Promoter has been assessed by the EIB as being a private company not subject to EU rules on public procurement or concessions.
Signed - 3/08/2021