The Chief Executive Officer of Telecom Italia, Marco Patuano, today met with the Trade Unions to present the new 2015-2017 Strategic Plan that, building on the achievements of the last year, is characterised by an approach that is strongly centred on industrial development, with an acceleration of the programme of innovative investments in both Italy and Brazil (a cumulative total of around 14.5 billion over the three year period).
More specifically, investments in Italy in the three year period 2015-2017 will total approximately 10 billion euros, around 5 billion of which solely for innovative developments (NGN, LTE, Cloud Computing, Data Centres, Sparkle and Transformation).
"The new industrial plan envisages around 10 billion euros of investment in Italy in the next three years, over 1 billion more than in the previous plan. Thanks to this significant increase in innovative investments – said Patuano - by 2017 we will reach 75% of the population with optic fibre and over 95% of the population with the 4G mobile network, positioning us as the leader in the infrastructure development of the Country and thus getting closer to the targets of the Digital Agenda for 2020”.
Of the roughly 5 billion investment to be made in innovation on the domestic market, almost 3 billion euros, 1.1 billion more than in the previous three-year plan, will be earmarked for the development of optic fibre, with approximately 500 million euros for FttH (Fiber to the Home) technology, reaching 40 cities cabled by the end of the period. By 2017 this acceleration of investment in optic fibre is expected to increase the number of active customers by approximately 1 million compared to the targets of the previous plan.
Mobile broadband can count on 900 million in investment to complete the extension plan that is already in an advanced phase of completion; at the same time, geographic coverage in Italy will improve, reaching 90% of the country by the end of 2017.
The aim of this acceleration of investments is to create the foundations for growth in turnover based increasingly on the spread of innovative services with digital content.
The new Plan further strengthens the pathway to technological leadership the Group started on last year, and it will also continue to focus on the development of the IT Digital platforms, the Data Centres and Big Data, which contribute to characterise the "core business" of Telecom Italia, with enriched connectivity through innovative and digital services. The acceleration in investments and ultrabroadband infrastructure will therefore be combined with a renewed commercial strategy based on service quality and simplification of the fixed, mobile and internet offer under the single TIM brand.
The acceleration in investment and the creation of new technology infrastructure networks mean that new professional skills must be recruited into the business, with training interventions to retrain and update the skills of our personnel.
“With the new business plan, we are again recruiting, after seven years. - emphasised Patuano - Indeed, we need to strengthen our workforce by introducing new professional skills into the company, with young technicians and graduates between 20 and 30 years of age. We will be recruiting up to 4,000 people over 3-4 years, using the new regulatory tools the government is developing”.
At the same time, the company intends to continue to maintain the employment levels, enhancing the competencies and professional skills that we have while never losing sight of the need to continually improve the efficiency and quality of services. The current "defensive" solidarity contracts, which are due to expire at the end of April, will be replaced, by means of procedures to be defined with the Trade Unions, by a solidarity regime that still protects employment, but allows young people to enter the company and reduces the average age of our workforce.
An innovative pathway that Telecom Italia intends to define working closely with the Trade Unions to ensure that the company has the qualified know how and knowledge it needs to cope with the challenges of the future.
During the meeting, the issue of the reorganisation of the Telecom Italia in-house Caring sector.
After the lengthy negotiations which saw the company in discussions with the Trade Unions for over 8 months, but which did not lead to an agreement that might modify the agreements signed in 2013, the Chief Executive Officer restated the company's position: the expected creation of a company that incorporates the activities of the Caring Division that are currently in Telecom Italia S.p.A. will now start. The objective is to better focus on the issues of the quality, sustainability and management of the customer assistance service.
Finally, the company again told the Trade Unions that the Caring Division is a core activity, and will remain under the direct control of Telecom Italia S.p.A, and that the economic conditions of the personnel will be unchanged.
Rome, 27 February 2015