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The Net

About LTE and 5G

The ultrabroadband mobile network LTE- Long Term Evolution reaches 99% of Italians.  LTE/4G  represents the fourth generation (4G) mobile phone systems and it is the latest evolution of 3G/HSPA standard.

4G network allows data transmission speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s in download and 50 Mbit/s in upload. The upload speed is 8 times faster than that of the High Speed Protocol Access network (5.6 Mbit/s) and more than double in download (HSPA: 42.2 Mbit/s). 

In December 2017 we launched the 4.5G technology.  Today it is in 12 main municipalities among which Milan and  Turin. With 4.5G our customers are able to reach browsing speeds of up to 700 Mbps in downlink, with a particularly fluid and stable browsing experience. Downloading of films in high definition will take just a few minutes, allowing customers to enjoy full HD and 4K video content on the move.

In 2019 we made  5G commercial services available in 9 cities, 30 tourist destinations and 50 industrial districts, with speeds of up to 2 gigabits a second. 5G performance: faster download speed (at least 10 times higher than 4G), lower latency (10 times lower than 4G), a higher number of devices handled (up to 10 times) and significant use of the Internet of Things, connecting up to one million devices and sensors per km2 simultaneously, with extremely high quality and reliable service.

In January 2020 5G speed on our network exceeded 2 Gbps using, for the first time, the 26GHz bandwidth; on our national territory we are using the 3,7 GHz bandwidth. This record result opens doors to future developments, showcasing the potential of this technology also with respect to our ample portfolio of 5G frequencies having complimentary characteristics.

In November 2019, we defined an investment plan supported by the European Investment Bank (EIB) via a 6Y EUR 350m loan. The financed project concerns both the implementation of 5G and the strengthening of the existing mobile network with 4G/LTE (Long-Term Evolution). 

2020-2022 Strategic Plan target: national 5G population coverage by 2025/26.

Fiber

Fiber coverage today reaches about 81% of the population.

At the end of June 2020, our UBB retail+wholesale customers were 7.9 million, connected on a FTTx  network (optical fiber network which arrives to street-side cabinets or directly to the customers home) and, sometimes, also through FWA - Fixed Wireless Access technology. In this case the Wi-Fi of the customer’s home router connects, in wireless, to the nearest antenna of TIM’s mobile network which, in turn, is connected to the optic fiber network.

The variety of FTTx accesses depends on which segment of the network is connected in fiber.  FTTH (Fiber To The Home):  this technology brings optical fiber directly into the appartments - through the so called "verticals" - and is one of the methods we use together with FTTCab (Fiber To The Cabinet), currently the most used, which brings the fiber to the streetside cabinets.  

A FTTH network allows for connections of up to 1,000 megabits per second.  A FTTC network, thanks to e-vdsl technology (Enhanced Very High-speed Digital Subscriber Line), can reach speeds of 200 megabits per second and, with further technological developments, can reach 300 megabits per second.  With this technological upgrade on their FTTC network the maximum connection speed is thus doubled: from 100 to 200 megabits in download and 20 in upload. The operation can be requested for free by clients having a contract of up to 100 megabits and whose telephone line is deployed on a street cabinet already predisposed for e-vdsl technology. 

Fibre network significantly improves the browsing experience and offers new services. From home, for example, you can enjoy HD video, high quality, multiplayer online gaming and multimedia content simultaneously available on smartphones, tablets and smart TVs. Moreover, fibre network also brings applications such as telepresence, cloud computing services for businesses and is a step towards the smart city model for local administrations, with systems for security and monitoring the territory, infomobility and sensor networks for environmental tele-monitoring.

2020-2022 Strategic Plan target envisages the evolution of FTTC coverage, currently at 81%, into FTTH for 40% of the population by 2023.

The dialogue with Open Fiber

On February 2019 we started discussions with Open Fiber to explore all possible options about  asingle network. Converge of the two networks would carry advantages for all stakeholders: the companies involved, the market, shareholders and the country as a whole.

One of the strategic iniziatives of 2020-2022 Plan is reserving  KKR Infrastructure fund  a period of exclusivity as financial partner for the deployment of the fibre network in Italy following the presentation of a non-binding offer to acquire approx. 40% of TIM's fibre/copper secondary network and in view of the advocated integration with Open Fiber.

The agreement with Infratel

This is another way to speed up the development of ultrabroadband: a public company, Infratel (the in-house company of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development) and a private one, TIM, together to bring new generation services in about 600 municipalities spread over 8 regions, that are 'market failure' areas.

The partnership will result in a plan of activities for the regions and municipalities involved. TIM will get hold of a significant amount of dark-fibre infrastructure built by Infratel and carry out a road map of activation, once the fibre optics have been provided by Infratel, in order to provide ultrabroadband services using FTTC and FTTH technology. This will benefit more than 1 million people and businesses in the areas in question.       

The activation plan has already begun in some regions and will be completed by 2020 /2021.  

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