Shares in Vodafone (LON:VOD) have climbed higher in London this morning as the group announced that its Italian division had acquired spectrum for 5G services. The news comes after it emerged last week that the group was looking to raise about €4 billion of hybrid bonds to back its deal with Liberty Global which will see it acquire the US group’s cable networks in Germany and eastern Europe.
As of 10:24 BST, Vodafone’s share price had added 1.33 percent to 162.00p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.09 percent higher at 7,481.43 points. The group’s shares have given up a little over 23 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 0.2-percent gain in the Footsie.
Italian unit snaps up 5G spectrum
Vodafone announced in a statement today that its Italian division had acquired spectrum to enable the deployment of new 5G technology for a total cost of €2.4 billion, in an auction by the country’s Ministry of Economic Development. The company said that it was further leading 5G trials promoted by the Ministry for Economic Development in Milan and its metropolitan area, and expects to have already achieved coverage of 80 percent by December 2018.
“Auctions should be designed to balance fiscal requirements with the need for investment to enable economic development,” Vodafone’s new chief executive Nick Read commented in the statement, adding that it was “critical that European governments avoid artificial auction constructs which fail to strike a healthy balance for the industry”.
Analysts on FTSE 100 telecoms group
Deutsche Bank reaffirmed Vodafone as a ‘buy’ last week, valuing the shares at 265p. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip telco currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 234.71p.