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TIM moves towards 5G deployment in Italy

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TIM moves towards 5G deployment in Italy

The telco has activated a 5G antenna with millimeter wave support in Turin

Italian telecommunications firm TIM, owned by Telecom Italia, announced it has activated what it claims to be the first 5G antenna with millimeter wave support in Italy. The trial, which took place in the northern city of Turin, reached record connection of 20 Gbps.

TIM used the 28 GHz frequency band to carry out the trial. The telco said during the trial, a virtual visit service in real time was achieved on an experimental 5G network system. Through this virtual visit, it was possible to visit Piazza Carlo Alberto from the Politecnico of Turin University despite it being on the other side of the city. An avatar guide accompanied the visitor – equipped with a VR headset and sensors – in the historic venue, TIM said.

“With a transmission capacity 20 times greater than the current 4G one the 5G network will connect a very large number of objects and people to offer high quality, personalized and extremely engaging innovative services,” The Italian telco said in a statement.

TIM also plans to launch VR exhibits for other museums in the city using the technology and will test 5G applications with Ericsson at the city’s Politecnico university in 2018.

Telecom Italia said this 5G trial follows on from the Memorandum of Understanding signed last March between TIM and Turin’s municipal authority to implement the “Turin 5G” project, which aims to provide gradual coverage of the city with 5G technologies by 2020.

For “Turin 5G”, TIM is developing applications and new solutions for the smart city, environmental monitoring, public safety, the vehicle industry, 4.0 industry, healthcare, education, mobility and road safety, logistics and smart agriculture.

In September, TIM collaborated with compatriot operator Fastweb to launch 5G trials in a number of cities across Italy. The companies will deploy the connectivity in the 3.7GHz band in Bari and Matera in southern Italy. Chinese vendor Huawei will also take part in these 5G trials.

The 5G tests are expected to begin in June 2018, aiming to provide 75% coverage in the areas by end of next year and full coverage by the start of 2020.

Bari will use the connectivity to improve security, access control and logistics in its shipping port. In Matera, the 2019 European capital of culture, 5G connectivity will be used to offer virtual visits to Sassi, Parco della Murgia Materana and the many churches present in the region.

In July, TIM had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Republic of San Marino for the deployment of 5G technology. Under the terms of the deal, the Italian telco will start testing 5G in San Marino in 2018.

The operator has been working to update the mobile sites of its network in the Republic of San Marino with 4.5G, introducing some of the features of 5G, such as evolved mast towers (MIMO4x4), Carrier Aggregation, superior modulation, and cloud architecture. TIM also said it has already started the deployment of small cells across San Marino.

The technology plan includes doubling the number of existing mobile sites and installing small cells, linked by optic fibre and distributed throughout San Marino.

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Juan Pedro covers Global Carriers and Global Enterprise IoT. Prior to RCR, Juan Pedro worked for Business News Americas, covering telecoms and IT news in the Latin American markets. He also worked for Telecompaper as their Regional Editor for Latin America and Asia/Pacific. Juan Pedro has also contributed to Latin Trade magazine as the publication's correspondent in Argentina and with political risk consultancy firm Exclusive Analysis, writing reports and providing political and economic information from certain Latin American markets. He has a degree in International Relations and a master in Journalism and is married with two kids.