By 30 September, operators will have to pay the State approximately 4.8 billion as a counterpart to the auction with which the frequencies for 5G were awarded in 2018. Asstel's request: pay in installments
The bill to pay for the stellar auction of frequencies for 5G is coming to Tim, Vodafone, Iliad and Wind Tre. That is the last installment of the maxi-debt for licenses equal to 4.8 billion euros.
And if the state coffers are preparing to laugh, those of the operators not really.
Precisely for this reason, the telcos “are waiting, crossing their fingers in the hope that a remodeling, with installments, of what would otherwise be a drain will come. It is true that this payment was expected from the start: from 2018 in which the auction closed. It is equally undeniable, however, that it is the son of a process that began and ended in a pre-Covid that appears to be a distant geological era ”writes Il Sole 24 Ore .
Hence the intervention of Asstel. The trade association chaired by Massimo Sarmi has in fact asked Mef and Agcom to pay the maxi-debt for the licenses expiring in September 2022 in installments, aligning the payments to the actual realization times of the networks. Without forgetting that, in the meantime, there was the Covid crisis.
“Once the budget law has been passed, the hope of the telephone companies rests entirely on the Milleproroghe decree” underlines the Confindustria newspaper.
All the details.
THE ASSIGNMENT OF THE AUCTION FOR 5G
We must therefore go back in time to 2 October 2018, when the procedure for the assignment of the rights to use the frequencies for 5G, started on 13 September, closed at 5.30 pm. The record collection that the state has taken home is 6.5 million euros.
This is a much higher figure than initially hoped for by the state, which expected a minimum income of 4 billion (as envisaged in the Budget Law). The final amount exceeded the value of the initial offers by 164% and the auction base by 130.5%.
HOW MUCH TIM, VODAFONE, WIND TRE AND ILIAD HAD PAID FOR 5G
Going into the details, the most successful, as stated on the Mise website, were: the lots for the 700 MHz FDD band reached the quota of 2,039,909,188.00 euros; the lots for the 3700 MHz band reached a quota of 4,346,820,000.00 euros; the lots for the 26 GHz band reached the quota of 163,693,070.00 euros.
Specifically, Tim and Vodafone had spent 2.4 billion, Iliad 1.2 billion while Wind Tre and Fastweb respectively 516.5 million and 32.6 million euros.
HOW TO PAY?
"If the amount to pay has resulted from the competitive procedure, – recalled Il Sole 24 Ore – how to pay had already been provided for by the budget law for 2018 (the last of Gentiloni) which allowed to spread the disbursements over time:" 1,250 million euros for the year 2018, 50 million euros for the year 2019, 300 million euros for the year 2020, 150 million euros for the year 2021 and the remainder "in 2022".
“Here it is the maxirata coming up, which can also be read in the numbers of the telco balance sheets consulted by the Sole 24 Ore. Because if Fastweb has already paid, Tim counts 1.738 billion under current liabilities by September 2022 (after 19 million by September 2019, 110 million for the following year and 55 million for 2020). With regard to Vodafone Italia, in the consolidated statement closed on March 31, 2021, we read of € 1.663 billion; for Wind Tre the expected outlay is 334 million and for Iliad the reading is "approximately euro 27,366 and 985,886 thousand respectively in 2021 and 2022" "notes the Confindustria newspaper.
But the operators had already asked the government to review license payment deadlines.
"Already in 2020 and 2021 they had asked to postpone the payment of the installments. Now, however, the problem has not only become pressing, but also of considerable size. The last payment will expire in September next year, a maxi-installment of € 4.8 billion for all operators. A huge burden for the accounts already proven ”Il Messaggero wrote last month.
Therefore, as written at the beginning, the president of Asstel, Massimo Sarmi, addressed to the Treasury owner Daniele Franco and to Agcom the request to consider the option of rescheduling the payment deadlines for the 5G frequencies.
"And the same Agcom in the previous council, to which Asstel had addressed, had reported the matter to the ministers Gualtieri and Patuanelli in mid-July 2020, then holders of the economics and economic development departments" added Il Sole 24 Ore .
“For now, however, no" lifesaver "for telecommunications companies has arrived in the budget law. After all, finding a “cover” of that size is not easy. This year's maneuver is worth 30 billion euros. And they are all already committed by the tax authorities to pensions. Parliament has been given a dowry of only 600 million for amendments. Not only would they be insufficient, but they could hardly cover a single item of expenditure. In short, the path is narrow. A technical solution, which Minister Franco also would have taken into consideration, could be to leave the 4.8 billion on 2022 for "competence", allowing instead a payment in installments only "for cash" in the following three years ", Il Messaggero stresses .
“From government sources we learn that a decision has not yet been made and evaluations are underway. Certainly the Milleproroghe could be the possible vehicle, with a government amendment ”concludes the Confindustria newspaper.
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/innovazione/tim-vodafone-wind-e-iliad-5g/ on Sun, 16 Jan 2022 15:32:21 +0000.