Merger of Telecom Italia, Open Fiber networks needs to happen soon - TIM CEO

New Prime Minister Mario Draghi has put digital infrastructure at the heart of his government's agenda

  
A man uses a Telecom Italia phone booth at a bus stop in Rome

A man uses a Telecom Italia phone booth at a bus stop in Rome

REUTERS/Chris Helgren

MILAN- The planned merger between the networks of Telecom Italia (TIM) and Open Fiber needs to happen as soon as possible for expected "huge" synergies to be realised, TIM Chief Executive Luigi Gubitosi said on Wednesday.

Italy's government has been trying to create a full-fibre national network by merging Open Fiber, a small broadband operator owned by state lender CDP and utility Enel ENEI.MI , with the landline grid assets of Telecom Italia.

New Prime Minister Mario Draghi has put digital infrastructure at the heart of his government's agenda but he has yet to clarify whether he intends to implement the unified network project and under what terms.

Gubitosi said there was no reason to believe that the government's position on the project had changed.

"I'm sure with the willingness of the government and the CDP to implement this agreement and generate value for the country, I think it will occur earlier rather than later", Gubitosi told analysts during the conference call on full-year results.

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina, writing by Cristina Carlevaro, editing by Agnieszka Flak) ((agnieszka.flak@thomsonreuters.com; +39 02 6612 9450; Reuters Messaging: agnieszka.flak.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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