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INWIT and UNCEM together to reduce the digital divide

Memorandum of understanding signed to facilitate
the establishment of digital infrastructure
in mountain communities and municipalities

Rome, 17 March 2023 – INWIT, the leading Italian tower operator and UNCEM, Italy’s National Union of Mountain Communities, have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop and improve the use of digital services for mountain communities, municipalities and unions, contributing to reducing the digital divide and building a more inclusive, digital and sustainable “Smart Italy”.

The agreement provides for application of the simplification measures set out in the Electronic Communications Code, those aimed to promote the construction of systems in municipal areas and the definition of the quickest methods, from an administrative perspective, to issue the related authorisations, thus seeking to reduce the time taken to establish digital infrastructure in the regions.

The agreement applies to 900 areas, currently experiencing a digital divide, among the members of the UNCEM, which are also part of the “Italia 5G” Plan of the NRRP and in which new mobile telecommunication infrastructure will be built.

The agreement also envisages the installation of IoT solutions on INWIT towers in UNCEM areas to monitor the environment and the regions. Connectivity will also be improved using microantennas, or DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems), systems for indoor areas such as hospitals, sports halls and galleries, and small cells for certain outdoor areas such as historic centres, refuge sites and tourist locations.

“The memorandum of understanding signed with UNCEM is another step taken towards establishing digital infrastructure in the country and building a Smart Italy with simple procedures and full collaboration between INWIT and local authorities, also in support of important development plans such as the “Italia 5G” Plan of the NRRP– said Diego Galli, General Manager of INWIT”.

“As UNCEM, we are honoured by this agreement ,” says UNCEM President Marco Bussone  , “which helps us create an effective and tangible path to reduce the digital divide, a very important issue for us. In order to move in this direction, it is necessary to make good use of the available economic resources, build a digital culture, and focus on modern infrastructure for the benefit of all, particularly the mountainous areas of the country, where inequalities are considerable. With INWIT, I am confident that we will be able to work intensively, as we have already done, for communities and local authorities”.

A partnership that highlights the potential of the collaboration between INWIT and UNCEM. INWIT, with over 23 thousand towers throughout the country, offers diversified services by exploiting the potential of its assets in a logic of “tower as a service”.  UNCEM, present in every region with its own delegation which brings together and represents entirely and partially mountainous municipalities, mountain communities and Unions of Mountain Municipalities, covering 54% of the territory. 

In June 2022, as part of a temporary grouping of companies (RTI) with TIM and Vodafone Italia, INWIT was awarded the tender to receive public grants under the “Italia 5G” Plan, to build new network infrastructure suitable for providing mobile radio services in 1,200 market failure areas. Again in 2022, INWIT signed an agreement with Open Fiber to cover over 600 Municipalities across the country with FWA (Fixed Wireless Access) technology.