Open Fiber, the Italian wholesale FTTH access network operator set up by power utility Enel, has closed the acquisition of Metroweb for €714 million (US$749 million).
The deal was first agreed in July and the details finalized in October. The new combined company is jointly owned by Enel and Italian state funding company CDP Equity SpA. (See Eurobites: Italy's Enel in $2.8B FTTH Plan.)
National operator Telecom Italia had also been interested in acquiring Metroweb, which is building fiber access networks in Milan, Genoa, Bologna and Turin, to further its own FTTH ambitions, but Open Fiber won the duel to close the deal.
The acquisition is part of Open Fiber's plans to build an extensive wholesale FTTH network across more than 200 cities that can be used by multiple retail broadband service providers to reach more than 9.5 million homes. The initial Open Fiber rollout targets Bari, Cagliari, Catania, Florence, Genoa, Naples, Padua, Palermo, Perugia and Venice.
Consumers are buying millions of IoT devices, from smart thermostats and security systems to intelligent entertainment setups and furniture. Yet many of these devices remain isolated because home users are uncomfortable connecting them to each other – or even their WiFi. After all, their WiFi network was probably designed only to handle a few laptops, a gaming system and a couple of smartphones. Now, demand on the network is surging and even though you're delivering 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps, that doesn't necessarily mean the broadband power is in the right place or reaches every corner of a home.
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