End of the ’90s
Founded in January 1998 in Cagliari as a small local company following the liberalization of the telecommunications market in Italy, in 1999 Tiscali launched the first free Internet access service in Italy and Western Europe, giving a significant impetus to the development of the entire Internet market and becoming an undisputed first mover.
Thanks to the listing on the stock exchange in 1999, Tiscali collects the financial resources to support the expansion project that has led it to become a pan-European player.
The first years 2000
In the early 2000s, Tiscali was engaged in a series of important acquisitions of Internet Service Providers in Europe and beyond: in 2000, it in fact acquired WorldOnline, a Dutch group that carried out its ISP activities in Switzerland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Spain, United Kingdom, Austria, and South Africa.
In 2001, Tiscali acquired Liberty Surf, leading ISP in the French market and, at the same time, strengthens its position in Austria, Finland and the United Kingdom through new acquisitions and additions to the previously acquired companies. In the same year, it launched the ADSL service on all markets served.
2004 – 2007
In 2004, Tiscali reached 1.3 million ADSL users. In the meantime, the market has changed, becoming more mature, and the Group rethought its business strategy, opting for the refocusing of its activities on the national territory and in the United Kingdom. The company then proceeded with the implementation of a plan for the progressive disposal of businesses, a plan that ended in 2007, when Tiscali focused on the most significant and rapidly expanding markets: Italy and the United Kingdom.
Right in 2007, Tiscali increased its activity in the United Kingdom, through the acquisition of Video Network Internationals Ltd and the broadband and voice divisions of Pipex Ltd: thanks to the latter, it launched the IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) service, which was contextually launched in Italy as well. Tiscali positions itself as the only “Full-IP” operator of an innovative package of data-voice-video services, being once again a company capable of leading time.
2008 – 2011
In these years, the Group strengthened its financial structure through a series of capital transactions and the disposal of Ti Net (an international network management company) and of the Tiscali subsidiary in the United Kingdom, in addition to the restructuring of financial debt. After these operations, the Company has concentrated solely on the Italian market.
In that period, Tiscali also became a mobile operator by launching MVNO services thanks to the commercial agreement with TIM.
In 2010, Tiscali joined the “2010 Fibra per l’Italia” project.
2012 – 2014
In 2012, Veesible S.r.l. (dealer selling advertising space), Indoona S.r.l. (company aimed at developing the application of the same name, which integrates voice and messaging to call, video call and send multimedia messages from smartphones and PCs), and Istella S.r.l. (company aimed at developing a new search engine for the Italian internet, born with the aim of systematizing and spreading the national cultural heritage).
In 2013, the search engine Istella reached 4.5 billion indexed pages, and 200 terabytes of data.
In 2014, the Group completed a redefinition of its financial structure.
2015 – 2018
In 2015, Tiscali carried out an industrial aggregation operation with the Aria Group: the merger allowed the company to expand its portfolio of industrial assets, in particular with the acquisition of a 42MHz spectrum license on a 3.5Ghz “technology neutral” frequency, and of the proprietary Fixed Wireless access network, as well as to reduce its financial debt.
In 2017, the large business division is sold to Fastweb, in order to have the company focus on the consumer segment.
In 2018, after obtaining an extension of the 3.5GHz license until December 2029, the company signed a strategic agreement with Fastweb, which provides for the transfer of the wireless division (including the license of 42MHz of spectrum on 3.5Ghz frequency) and the stipulation of a trade agreement that allows Tiscali to expand the addressable market of Fiber services from around 8 million households and companies to around 18 million, as well as continuing to market LTE services in the “Extended Digital Divide” areas.
In March 2019, Tiscali obtained a debt restructuring agreement with a consequent strengthening of its financial structure, and a significant reduction in the total financing cost.
In May 2019, Renato Soru, the founder, returned to the lead of the group, following an agreement with a consortium of Italian entrepreneurs, who took over the shares of the Russian shareholders who entered in 2015 in the context of the merger with Aria.