Telecom Italia overhauls pricing, updates on NGA progress

Telecom Italia has unveiled new pricing plans, including a single rate for landline calls to fixed and mobile numbers, and provided an update on its LTE and fiber deployments during a meeting with Italian consumer associations.

Marco Patuano, the company’s chief operating officer, said a new single rate of €0.05 per minute will come into effect from April 1.

Telecom Italia has unveiled new pricing plans, including a single rate for landline calls to fixed and mobile numbers, and provided an update on its LTE and fiber deployments during a meeting with Italian consumer associations.

Marco Patuano, the company’s chief operating officer, said a new single rate of €0.05 per minute will come into effect from April 1.

The new rates will be welcomed by landline customers who frequently call mobiles and currently pay €0.099 ($0.13) per minute for the service, but are likely to upset those whose landline calls are mainly to other landlines, given the existing rate of €0.019 per minute.

The new single rate also applies to calls received, and compares with a current charge of €0.0794 per minute.

“Telecom Italia [Rome, Italy] is the first carrier in Europe to move on from the traditional distinction between fixed line and mobile calls,” said Patuano. “We are ushering in this important new development so our customers can enjoy greater freedom when using their home phone lines.”

Besides unveiling the new landline rate, Telecom Italia will increase the monthly line rental fee from €16.64 to €17.40 to bring charges “into line with inflation over the period”.

It says this is the first such increase since July 2011 and insists the rental fee “remains among the lowest in Europe”.

Patuano also announced that Telecom Italia will this week extend LTE services to the cities of Bari, Como, Perugia, Pisa, Prato, Treviso, Vicenza and Udine, as well as the tourist destinations of Bormio, Canazei, Cavalese, Madonna di Campiglio, Selva di Val Gardena, Predazzo and Tesero.

Having spent €1.2 billion on its ‘4G’ frequencies, Telecom Italia plans to invest €500 million over three years in building out its network and reach 40% of Italy’s population by the end of 2014.

It also said it will launch a 30Mbps fiber-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) service in Bari, Bologna and Genoa.

“Infrastructure building work is underway in 31 Italian cities, a number set to rise to a hundred by the end of 2014, corresponding to coverage of around 6 million properties (25% of the population),” said Patuano about the FTTC rollout. “We are proceeding at a rate of 200 cabinet activations per week, thanks to an investment plan worth around €600 million through 2014.”

Telecom Italia says fiber rollout is at an advanced stage in the cities of Rome, Turin, Naples, Milan, Genoa, Bologna, Bari, Catania, Venice, Florence, Padua, Palermo, Verona, Ancona, Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Brindisi, Perugia, Reggio Emilia, Treviso, Udine, Monza, Forlì, Varese, Taranto, Pisa, Prato, Catanzaro, Vicenza and Pescara.