TIM to build Italy’s first 5G network in Turin
13 March 2017 | Jason McGee-Abe
TIM has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Municipality of Turin that will see the Italian operator build Italy’s first 5G network in the urban area of the Piedmont capital.
The “Turin 5G” project, which entered the operational stage after an agreement was signed on Friday, will see over 100 smart cells installed from as early as this year in the main streets and squares of the city.
TIM’s first 5G technology trial in a metropolitan area will be launched by 2018 in its innovation and development centre in Turin, with the aim of driving the development of a new generation mobile network.
“The signing of this agreement demonstrates TIM's capacity to be a leader in the company’s innovation process,” stated Giuseppe Recchi, executive chairman of TIM.
“We are the first private investor in the country with a business plan that includes €11 billion of investments in 3 years, €5 billion of which will be dedicated to developing the new ultra-broadband networks: the plan concerns the future, fast connections and the development of cities. When we talk about big data, digital identity and the Internet of Things, we are aware that underlying all this there is always quality and the speed of the networks. TIM has the privilege of being a leading company in the development of the digital culture of the country and today this agreement adds another important element to our strategy.”
The trial will involve up to a maximum of 3,000 users who will be able to take advantage of very high performances and transmission speeds and experimental services and applications, provided by the city administration and made possible by TIM’s 5G network.
These small cells will be in addition to the 200 mobile ultra-broadband sites which TIM will use to for its radio coverage in the city. The new mobile network will be supported by TIM's fibre-optic infrastructure which covers most of the city. The project will see the gradual extension of the new mobile broadband infrastructure to the municipal urban area with the aim of covering the entire city by 2020.
Back in October 2016, TIM announced that it had deployed what it claimed to be the first 500Mbps mobile data connection on its LTE network in Italy, after collaborating with Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies. The operator conducted innovation lab tests in Turin and then in the field, on the radio base stations of the city, reached download speeds of more than 500Mbps on a single data connection on the LTE live network.
Turin is set to become part of the first pan-European network of 5G interconnected cities amid the European Commission’s 5G Action Plan.
Chiara Appendino, Mayor of Turin, added: “It is a positive sign that TIM has chosen Turin as an urban area to test an innovative technology such as 5G, linked to the mobile network. A decision that confirms the historical connection with the telephone company which has deep roots here in the city of the Mole Antonelliana. The high speed services and applications can only bring benefit, in the immediate future, to the manufacturing world and the community.”