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July 13, 1993

ITALIAN SIP’s MONOPOLY WILL NOT BE BROKEN EASILY

By CBR Staff Writer

Italy’s pledge to end telephone operator SIP SpA’s monopoly on cellular services is good news for the consortia bidding for the franchise but it could take years to tap into the lucrative market, analysts told Reuter: SIP still holds all the cards and a new operator isn’t going to be able to just rush in and snap up business, said Martin Mabutt, telecommunications analyst at Nomura Research Institute; Postal Minister Maurizio Pagani said yesterday that bidding for a second cellular franchise would start after the summer; three consortia are seen to be in the running for the franchise – one headed by Ing C Olivetti & Co SpA and Bell Atlantic Corp, a second by Fiat SpA and Fininvest with Vodafone Group Plc and the third headed by the state energy company ENI, although if it should go to a state company, privatisation claims would look hollow.

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