Another quarter of growth for Fastweb, the twenty-fifth consecutive one.
Wireline broadband customers continued to increase, bringing the customer base to 2.610 thousand (+4% on previous year). Revenues in the first 9 months 2019 totaled Euro 1.584 million, up 4,5% on Q3 2018. A steady growth for EBITDA as well that at September 30, 2019 totaled Euro 529 million, up 5% on the previous year on a comparable basis.
Fastweb keeps pursuing its industrial infrastructure-based convergent strategy with the aim of offering the most performing indoor and outdoor connectivity to its customers. Capex - which total 443 million, 28% of revenues - focus on the development of 5G both as mobile and FWA network. A superior infrastructure that will complement the wireline ultrabroadband network already available in 22 million households – 8 million of which are covered by a proprietary FTTx infrastructure.
Specifically, the expansion plan of the ultrabroadband network is proceeding with the deployment of 5G FWA network pilot projects which, after Bolzano and Biella, will be soon extended to other cities. Thanks to the 5G Fixed Wireless Access network, the number of families covered by a proprietary ultrabroadband network with download speed up to 1 Gbs will go from the existing 8 million to 16 million by 2024. Following the deal with WindTre signed at the end of June, the co-investment for the roll-out of a 5G mobile national network entered the operational planning phase, with deployment expected to begin in 2020.
Fastweb consolidates its leadership position also in terms of penetration of ultra-broadband connectivity services. By September 30th 1.607.000 wireline customers opted for an ultra-broadband offer with download speed up to 1 Gbs (+23% compared to the 1.302.000 customers active in September 2018). Approximately 62% of Fastweb wireline customers base switched to an ultra-broadband service. This figure rises to 80% for customers acquired in the first nine months of the year. An exceptional performance as also certified by AGCOM Communication Markets Observatory: with 37.7% of the market, Fastweb is the leading operator for the provision of access services over 100 Mb/s.
The Enterprise Business Unit performed well over the quarter with a 11% growth of revenues over the previous year thanks to remarkable performances in the Public Administration segment which has constantly grown for the past seven quarters. Fastweb market share in the Enterprise market is now 30% in terms of revenues, and Fastweb is steadily the first alternative operator for business customers, as confirmed by the last report of the AGCOM Communication Markets Observatory.
Equally strong the performances of Fastweb Wholesale division: revenues from core services at September 30 totaled Euro 138 million, up 8% on previous year, thanks to the expansion of wholesale ultrabroadband service footprint - which now reaches 75% of the population – and several agreements signed with major telecommunications operators that will use the Fastweb network to offer ultra-fast connectivity to their customers.
Finally, despite the intense competition, Fastweb mobile continues its double-digit growth: on September 30 Fastweb has 1.742 thousand mobile customers – up 32% compared to 1.324 thousand customers on Q3 2018. The percentage of convergent customers adopting both wireline and wireless services also increased, and now represent 34% of Fastweb customer base, proving the effectiveness of Fastweb strategy, based on the quality of services enabled by the best 4G and 4G plus network of the country and the commercial policy based on transparency.
Relevant facts occurred after the closing of the quarter
On October 25th the Ministry of Economic Development granted the final authorization to the agreement between Fastweb and Wind Tre announced last June. The agreement will lead to the rapid deployment of a shared 5G radio access and back-hauling network in Italy that will support the delivery of next-generation, high performing mobile services for Fastweb and Wind Tre customers. Following the approval obtained by the competent authorities, the two operators are preparing now, in line with the previous announcements, to start the deployment of the network that will reach a 90% coverage of the population by 2026.