Rete Unica, really: TIM, Open Fiber and CDP sign the first agreement

The single network begins to take shape: yesterday the boards of directors of TIM, Open Fiber and Cassa Depositi e Prestitias well as the funds Macquarie and Kkrthey signed the first memorandum of commitment. This is a formal (non-binding) document which provides for a phase of technical and financial discussion between the parties until 31 October. After that, if everything goes smoothly, a binding agreement will be reached and probably a journey in stages.

It should be remembered that CDP holds 9.9% of TIM and 60% of Open Fiber, while the Australian fund Macquarie holds 40% of Open Fiber and KKR boasts 37.5% of Fibercop (Tim’s secondary network that goes from wardrobes to apartments).

The goal is to create a single controlled telecommunications network operator by CDP and participated by the funds involved that “allows to accelerate the diffusion of optical fiber and VHCN infrastructure (Very High Capacity Networks) throughout the country“Specifically, we are talking about networks based largely on such architectures FTTDP-Fiber to Distribution Point or with similar performance. Furthermore, it is envisaged that this is a non-vertically integrated operator, therefore where the service operators have no governance power.

It’s the first step in a bold plan for Tim. From the separation of the fixed network infrastructure we draw the resources to invest in services and in the development of relationships with customers and mobile, competing more easily in the digital services market,

underlined TIM CEO Pietro Labriola.

The operation is only possible with the separation of the infrastructural activities of the fixed network from the commercial ones of TIMthrough a corporate transaction or combination of corporate transactions to be defined and the integration of the former with the network controlled by Open Fiber in a manner to be defined“. In practice there is a process of unbundling where the network (NetCo) will flow into the new entity and TIM (ServCo) will remain outside – or will hold a small minority stake – dealing only with services and data transmission. However, it is not yet clear what the perimeter of the split will be: will the backbones, the last mile and the Sparkle network be put on the table, or just a part?

Obviously, during the process, the approvals of the respective decision-making bodies and the necessary authorizations (including those on antitrust matters) by the competent national and European control institutions are foreseen. “Regardless of the structure that may be ultimately identified and shared, the Transaction will be submitted for approval by the TIM shareholders’ meeting.“, concludes Telecom.