MILAN (Reuters) – The Italian government will exercise its so-called “golden powers” over a project led by Swisscom’s Fastweb and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics to deploy fifth-generation networks, it said late on Wednesday.
This marks the first time the special powers the government holds over sectors deemed of strategic national importance will be used on telecoms firms working on 5G technology in Italy.
Fastweb is planning to use Samsung’s equipment to deploy a 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) network in the northern cities of Biella and Bolzano.
The government has given its green light to the deal, but Fastweb will have to give Rome regular updates over compliance with security rules, a Fastweb spokeswoman told Reuters.
Samsung Electronics did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.
Under the special measures, companies are required to notify the government of any technology purchased from non-European providers.
Italy extended its golden powers to 5G technologies in response to growing concerns raised by the United States, G7 partners and the EU Commission over cybersecurity.
Reporting by Elisa Anzolin and Elvira Pollina; Editing by Jan Harvey