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Telecom Italia mulls partial Noovle sale

Under pressure from investors, TIM CEO says Noovle minority stake up for grabs in late 2022

Telecom Italia’s TIM Group continued to lower guidance last week following cuts in July and sustained investor pressure to show better returns. The company CEO said in a call with analysts that a partial sale of Noovle, TIM’s Italian cloud computing business, may be in the cards.

In a call with analysts last week, TIM said its board of directors had met to discuss a possible reorganization of the company’s business. TIM CEO Luigi Gubitosi said the company will sell a minority stake in Noovle, to be carried out some time in the second half of 2022. TIM Group stakeholder Vivendi has reportedly requested an emergency meeting of TIM’s board members to discuss its pending reorganization plans.

Telecom Italia has seen shrinking revenue amidst fierce domestic competition and expanded infrastructure costs as the company transitions its business to 5G. Noovle is TIM Group’s push into the lucrative cloud enterprise market. TIM acquired Google Cloud partner Noovle Srl in 2020, combining it with TIM’s own data center operations to create the new business earlier this year. At the time of the announcement, TIM said that its 17 existing data centers will be joined by six others under Noovle’s direct aegis. 

“A cutting-edge infrastructure that will cover a total area of over 50,000 square metres nationally by 2022, with a capacity of up to 100 MW of usable IT power, closely integrated with TIM’s primary fibre optic network to ensure a structural reduction of interconnection latency between services,” said TIM Group.

TIM Group, Noovle, and Oracle announced plans in October to develop multicloud services for Italy aimed at Italian enterprises and public sector groups. The services will be offered through Noovle. TIM Group will focus on selling burgeoning 5G and IoT services to Italian enterprises and government. The system will be built on Oracle’s Cloud Infrastructure platform. Oracle also announced that TIM Group selected its Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system for finance and supply chain optimization.

Despite its economic woes, Telecom Italia continues to invest in modernization efforts like RAN disaggregation. The company activated Open RAN systems in Matera and Turin in September, after first demonstrating the tech in Faenza earlier this year. TIM Group has partnered on the Open RAN project with Mavenir, MTI, Dell Technologies, Intel and VMware.

In June, TIM opened its Open Test and Integration Center, a lab dedicated to testing Open RAN. Based in Turin, TIM said that its OTIC will operate in synergy with the entire Open RAN ecosystem-equipment providers, start-ups and system integrators. OTIC tests new solutions and accelerate the deployment of this technology for the new pan-European mobile network architecture based on 5G, Cloud and Edge Computing.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Peter Cohen
Peter Cohen
Peter is Technology Editor for RCR Wireless News. His coverage areas include telco cloud and the convergence of 5G and cloud computing. Peter's background includes IT management and a decade as a senior editor at Macworld. He and his family live in Massachusetts.

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