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Beyond the figures

Behind the data that measure each phenomenon, there are facts and information. The TIM network figures show not only the current state of our infrastructure but also how the habits of Italians are changing as a result of the digital transformation.

07/23/2020 - 03:17 PM

The TIM network

10,000 items of data, 107 provincial maps and over 30 infographics (in Italian) about our network as of September 2020, give us an idea about the country's infrastructure.

The data and infographics (in Italian only) also reflect the impact of Covid-19 , giving strong clues on the completely new landscape that we may find beyond the emergency.. In the next "New Digital Normal", needs and expectations on behalf of our customers may indeed be very different, compared with the ones they had before the pandemic crisis.   


The differences between the north and south of the country

National fixed super-fast broadband coverage has reached 82,4% of households, i.e. 87% of families reached by the fixed network. TIM will continue to intensify its effort aimed at bringing fiber connection to 90% of families reached by a fixed line, especially in rural or low density areas. Within 2020 5.000 municipalities will be reached by UBB networks, with the aim of enabling to digital life about 75% of families resident in "white areas" that are reached by the fixed network.

The growth in average data traffic per active line in southern provinces has been greater than in others.  Sicily and Puglia 90%, Calabria and Campania around 89%. This is the result of work we have done over the years, beginning with the Eurosud invitations to tender. Thanks to this network availability, since 2018, the growth in average data traffic per active line in southern provinces has been greater than in others.

As in previous years, the South is ahead of other regions in the list of top ten provinces by average fixed network data traffic per active line.

The ranking has remained unchanged since before Covid, despite the exponential growth in traffic and its shift from offices to homes, as a result of people working from home and digital schooling. This structural data is linked to different consumer habits and digital technology usage behaviour between provinces, as well as other factors.

These include household size: the bigger the household, the more people are connecting to the network. Therefore large families, which are more common in the South, create more traffic.   

Furthermore, in the South the percentage of super-fast broadband lines out of the total number of broadband lines is higher:  around 6-8 super-fast broadband lines per 10 broadband lines, compared to 3-6 lines per 10 elsewhere. The greater this ratio, the higher the traffic, because super-fast broadband improves the quality of service and enables new ones, encouraging their use. Even if the observation range is widened beyond the TIM network, the same conclusion is reached: in the South there is a greater trend towards switching from ADSL to fibre than elsewhere in Italy.

However, while it is true that availability, i.e. super-fast broadband coverage, is proportionally higher in the South than elsewhere, the number of people active in the digital world remains small. In order to help overcome cultural distances and disseminate digital skills among all Italians, TIM set up Operazione Risorgimento Digitale, a big, free, online Internet school.  

The big partnerships strategy 

The strategic operations concluded in recent months include the agreement with Vodafone to share the passive mobile network infrastructure and the merger of Vodafone Towers into the new INWIT. This has resulted in the biggest Italian tower company, with 22,000 towers spread across the country. Infrastructure coverage available to all telecommunications operators that will allow the spread of 5G to be accelerated.  

 Data Centres are the focus of our attention. They house our cloud services, the development of which, with highly innovative solutions, is also the goal of our partnership with Google Cloud. There are currently 32,000 servers operating in our Data Centres, which will become increasingly modern and green. More efficient infrastructure will also lead to energy savings, for the Group and for the customers who use our platforms and services, in keeping with our strategic objectives of using less and cleaner energy. 

Impact of the health emergency

Much has been written about how the emergency has accelerated the digitalisation of the country, the sudden growth in home working or digital schooling, and the consequent pressure put on a telecommunication company like ours. We shall therefore only point out two things, aided by the infographics.

In order to respond to the enormous demand for connection from private citizens and companies across the country, thanks to legislative intervention by the Government and an agreement with Infratel, we have expanded the network in the “white areas activating over 11,700 cabinets  with “Fibre to the Cabinet” (fibre + copper) technology to reach over 4,800 municipalities with new super-fast broadband connections.

Our infrastructure demonstrated  “resilience” in being able to quickly adapt to the impact of lockdown – when in a few weeks the traffic on the fixed network more than doubled - in terms of both structures and systems, particularly thanks to the adjustments made by our engineers and technicians in a very short time. 

The mobile broadband network  also coped well with the exceptional burden of the emergency, particularly considering that the percentage of so-called "mobile only” customers who use broadband and super-fast broadband services exclusively through the mobile network is very high in Italy: almost 1 in 4. Thanks to the coverage: over 99% of the population with the 4G and 4G plus network (97% of municipalities), 104 of 107 provinces, over 90% of municipalities. 

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Open data files (in italian) in excel format

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