On 5 March 2018, the Italian Communications Regulatory Authority launched a public consultation to define the rules for the award of the 694-790 MHz, 3.6-3.8 GHz and 26.5-27.5 GHz frequencies, in order to foster the transition to 5G technology. The text of the public consultation is accessible here.

The initiative is consistent with the European Commission's Action Plan for 5G in Europe (COM(2016) 588 final) and the Italian Budget Law 2018 (Law No. 205/2017). The latter, in particular, requires the Italian Regulator to establish the rules for the allocation of the rights of use concerning the said frequencies, by the end of April 2018.

The public consultation has been launched in the context of the upcoming public tender process through which 5G spectrum will be awarded, and which is scheduled to conclude by 30 September 2018. The consultation addresses several aspects of the 5G tender, including: the procedures for the award of the rights of use; the definition of frequency lots and caps, tender procedures and fees; the network architectures for the use of the 5G spectrum; the duration of the rights of use; possible conditions for the efficient use of frequencies and for the protection of existing services; and the possible imposition of regulatory obligations (eg access, coverage).

Interested parties may file comments and observations within 4 April 2018.