A €2 billion scheme to introduce high-performing 5G mobile networks in Italy has been approved by the European Commission. 

The initiative has been made available via the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), as part of Italy’s strategy to address the digitalisation of the country. 

According to Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, who is in charge of competition policy: “This €2 billion Italian scheme, entirely funded via the RRF, will support the deployment of high performing 5G mobile networks. This will enable consumers and business to access high-quality 5G services, contributing to the economic growth of the country and to the EU's strategic objectives relating to the digital transition.” 

The funding is set to cover the growth of next generation networks into specific areas to provide a boost to consumers and businesses. 

The European Commission noted the proposal was “necessary and proportionate to address market failures, namely the absence of current or planned mobile networks. The existence of a market failure has been assessed through the mapping of currently available and planned infrastructure, as well as through a public consultation conducted by the Italian authorities.” 

Funding will be provided in the form of direct grants to finance infrastructure, such as backhaul and base stations, to deliver a 5G service level of 150Mb/s download and 30Mb/s upload.  

According to the European Commission statement: “The scheme aims to ensure a wide availability of high-performing networks, capable of delivering high-quality and reliable electronic communication access services to end-users, satisfying their current and evolving needs.” 

On the announcement of the initiative, authorities in Italy set a 27th April deadline on funding bids, with an obligation to finalise work by the end of June 2026. Up to 90% of the costs will be covered by public funding. 

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