Italy’s Postal Service Discusses Fixed-Line Venture With Wind

Italy’s state-owned postal service and Wind SpA, the country’s third-largest mobile-phone company, are discussing a possible venture with Wind’s fixed-line network Infostrada, Poste Italiane SpA Chief Executive Officer Massimo Sarmi said.

The Italian postal company is seeking to develop its data storage, cloud computing and broadband services by using Infostrada’s network, Sarmi said in a phone interview this week. “In this way we could improve our capacity to offer ADSL broadband subscriptions also in the fixed-line phone industry.”

Poste entered Italy’s mobile-phone market in 2007 when the company started its virtual network operator PosteMobile, which leases network capacity from Vodafone Group Plc. Last year PosteMobile reached 3 million subscribers and generated operating profit of 28 million euros ($36 million). Poste Italiane also is in talks with Brazil’s Post Correios to start mobile phone services in Brazil, Sarmi said.

Wind is owned by Russia’s third-largest mobile provider, VimpelCom Ltd.

Sarmi said his company also may be interested in the eventual spinoff of Telecom Italia SpA’s fixed-line network. “If a new company was created and dedicated to TI networks, we could become a partner of it, potentially acquiring a stake.”

Poste Italiane, which is based in Rome, boosted 2012 profit 22 percent to 1.03 billion euros, while revenue gained 11 percent to more than 24 billion euros. A higher proportion of the postal service’s earnings and revenue came from insurance and financial services, helping offset lower sales from its main business of postal services, the company said today in a statement.

Revenue from postal and business services fell 10 percent last year to 4.66 billion euros. The company’s provider of insurance services, Poste Vita, reported 2012 premium revenue of 10.5 billion euros, up 10.5 percent from 2011.

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