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Netbook 2020

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.

02/23/2021 - 08:00 PM

The TIM network

With 10,000 items of data, 107 provincial maps and over 30 infographics (in Italian) about our network as of December 2020, the site a Network for Italy give us a snapshot about the country's infrastructure.

The data – even more so than infographics – illustrates how technology is being used by Italians, the consequences of infrastructure development choices at national level, and the effects of our company’s business plan.      

Of course, the figures also reflect the impact of Covid-19, helping us to understand the completely different scenario we may be faced with at the end of the crisis. In the next New Digital Normal, Italians’ digital needs and expectations could be very different from the ones they had prior to the pandemic.

The differences between the north and south of the country

National coverage with fixed ultrabroadband has reached 85.2% of homes, corresponding to 91% of households with landlines: TIM has therefore fulfilled what it announced in late 2020 about its cabling plans for Italy, focusing its efforts mainly in rural or low-density housing areas of the country. Specifically, more than 5,000 towns were reached with ultrabroadband by December 2020, and more than 18,000 cabinets (10,000 of which in “white” areas) were built to provide users a connection of over 30 Mbps, with the aim of giving access to digital life to the majority of households living in areas that until now had lacked an adequate connection.

The figure in the southern regions is higher than the national average: three southern regions (Apulia, Sicily and Calabria) are among the five regions with the highest NGAN coverage. This is the result of the interventions we have carried out over the years, starting with the Eurosud calls for tenders, along with those implemented in 2020 during the health crisis to tackle the effects of the lockdown. 

In particular, Apulia is the first region in Italy to bridge the digital divide. In the last few days, TIM has completed the plan to provide ultrabroadband coverage via the FTTx network (namely with FTTC technology up to 200 Mbps and FTTH technology up to 1 Gigabit/s), reaching 99.4% of households that use the fixed network, while the remaining 0.6% is also covered by satellite or FWA ultrabroadband connections. This way, citizens and businesses in Apulia can access the latest generation technologies and the most advanced digital services.

Thanks to increased network availability, average data traffic per line in Italy has increased significantly, with two high points coinciding with the first lockdown (around 180 Gbytes/month downloaded on average from each active landline in the period March-April 2020), and with the further restrictions at the end of the year which took the value of monthly Gbytes downloaded up to over 190 Gbytes. At national level, average traffic per active line rose by more than 50% compared to the previous year, and in 2020, out of the Top Ten provinces with the highest average data traffic per active landline, Southern Italy continues to lead the way (with 8 towns in the Top 10).

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 Centers 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 CloudThere are currently 35,000 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. In January 2021, TIM announced the birth of Noovle S.p.A., the new company wholly owned by the TIM Group which is to become an Italian centre of excellence for Cloud and edge computing, boosting the offer of TIM's innovative public, private and hybrid cloud services, and accelerating the country’s digital transformation.

The new Cloud Company, thanks to a proprietary network made up of a total of 17 state-of-the-art Data Centres spread across the country – built following the most advanced technological standards – will focus on the supply of innovative and bespoke Multi-cloud services and solutions for TIM customers, ranging from the management of network infrastructure in its Data Centres, to design and support services, migration to the cloud and support for its management, using the most advanced technologies based on artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.

On August 31, TIM’s Board of Directors approved the agreement with KKR Infrastructure and Fastweb for the establishment of FiberCop, the NewCo to which TIM’s secondary network  (from cabinets to customers’ homes) will be transferred along with the fibre network developed by FlashFiber, the joint venture in which TIM has an 80% and Fastweb a 20% stake. The agreement with KKR Infrastructure and Fastweb is the first step towards creating an Italian digital fibre network company, which will allow TIM, Fastweb and other operators to co-invest, completing the fibre coverage plans in black and grey areas of the country and speeding up the adoption of Ultra-Broadband (UBB) services.

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. This is thanks to our mobile coverage: 99% of the population with 4G and 4G plus (over 97% of towns), 106 out of 107 provinces with over 90% coverage.

Le Top Ten delle province

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Banda larga e  traffico dati

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I numeri della Rete TIM

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 I Data Center TIM

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Open data files (in italian) in excel format