Italian PM to set telecoms investment targets: Reuters

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta has reportedly unveiled plans to set investment targets for the country’s telecoms sector to ensure it does not fall behind other parts of Europe.

According to a report from Reuters, Letta has appointed a group of telecoms and economics experts – including former Cable & Wireless (London, UK) chief executive Francesco Caio, French economist Gerard Pogorel, and former FCC advisor Scott Marcus – to produce a report on investment requirements by the end of the year.

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta has reportedly unveiled plans to set investment targets for the country’s telecoms sector to ensure it does not fall behind other parts of Europe.

According to a report from Reuters, Letta has appointed a group of telecoms and economics experts – including former Cable & Wireless (London, UK) chief executive Francesco Caio, French economist Gerard Pogorel, and former FCC advisor Scott Marcus – to produce a report on investment requirements by the end of the year.

“The report will outline the state of the network and investment targets that any owner of the network will have to meet,” Letta is reported to have told a Financial Times seminar in Rome.

News comes in the wake of upheaval at Italian phone incumbent Telecom Italia, which has recently published a new business plan promising to increase investments in high-speed fiber and 4G technologies.

Spanish incumbent Telefonica recently agreed a deal by which it will gradually buy out other members of Telco – the consortium that owns 22% of Telecom Italia (Milan, Italy) – in a phased process starting next year.

In October, the Italian operator has also witnessed the departure of Franco Bernabe as chief executive.

Bernabe quit after falling out with shareholders, including Telefonica (Madrid, Spain), over the strategy Telecom Italia should pursue.

Investors want the company to sell off assets in Latin America as a means of reducing debts, but Bernabe believed such disposals would weaken the operator on the international stage in the long term.

Bernabe has been succeeded by Marco Patuano, the former chief operating officer.

According to Reuters, Telecom Italia’s new business plan will see the operator spend around €9 billion ($12.2 billion) in capital expenditure in Italy between 2014 and 2016.