Bologna is one of the first cities in Italy to boast a new generation telephone infrastructure now fully operational for the benefit of private citizens and businesses. The major infrastructure work required to create the city's fixed and mobile ultrafast networks was illustrated today by Virginio Merola, Mayor of Bologna, and Roberto Opilio, Head of Technology at Telecom Italia.
Approximately a year after the launch of the project, which saw Telecom Italia working to build the new fibre optic Next Generation Access Network (NGAN) and 4G mobile network, ultrabroadband is now a reality in Bologna. This result has been achieved thanks to the significant investments made by Telecom Italia, amounting to approximately 16 million euros, and its collaboration with the municipal authorities of Bologna, both of which have allowed the excavation and cable laying work to take place quickly, minimising the time and cost of the work and its impact on the city.
In Bologna, the programme currently covers around 180 thousand property units, to reach over 200 thousand by July, as a result of the 550 km of fibre optic cables laid (only 35 of which have involved excavation and the majority of which are of an innovative nature, ensuring a low impact on the population), allowing over 1,000 roadside cabinets to be connected along the city's streets to serve around 350 thousand citizens. Thanks to the agreement signed today between Telecom Italia and the Municipality of Bologna to complete the work in the San Felice exchange area, the existing civil infrastructure can be used, significantly reducing the need for new excavation work and, consequently, the inconvenience for citizens.
The result achieved confirms the commitment on the part of both Telecom Italia and the municipal authorities to boost the work being done and quickly provide households and businesses with a 30 Megabit Internet connection, thus adding Bologna to the élite group of Italian cities where ultrabroadband services are now available.
Telecom Italia's “Ultra Internet” services based on FTTCab (Fiber to the Cabinet) technology already offer a super-fast 30 Megabit per second download speed connection with performance and service levels that dramatically improve the experience of surfing the Net. In future, there is potential to improve the performance of fibre optic connections to provide speeds of up to 100 Megabits per second.
Fibre optic cable allows HD video, high quality multiplayer online gaming and multimedia content to be enjoyed simultaneously on smartphones, tablets and smart TVs, both at home and at work. Furthermore, businesses can access the world of Impresa Semplice professional IT solutions, using them to their full potential thanks to the fibre optic connection. Ultrabroadband also enables innovative applications, such as telepresence, video surveillance, cloud computing services for businesses, as well as applications allowing local authorities to implement the smart city model, including systems for security and monitoring the territory, infomobility and sensor networks for environmental tele-monitoring.
As for mobile telephony, Telecom Italia has provided Bologna with a new 4G network, with data transmission speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s in download and up to 50 Mbit/s in upload, thus making HD multimedia content and services available on the go. As a result of the 61 TIM 4G radio base stations now activated, almost 100% of the population are now covered. Further stations boasting this technology will come into service soon and contribute to improving performance even further.
The TIM 4G mobile network offers download speeds of 5-10 times higher than that of the HSPA network at 14.4 Mbps and more than double that offered by HSPA at 42 Mbps, thus offering citizens performance and service levels that significantly improve internet browsing and allow the use of innovative content on the move, such as HD video streaming.
“We are glad that Bologna is one of the first Italian cities to have a modern network infrastructure allowing private citizens and businesses to make use of innovative services that contribute to the development of the local economy - says Roberto Opilio, Head of Technology at Telecom Italia -. As part of its investment plan, Telecom Italia has decided to allocate a significant amount to the development of its fibre optic and 4G networks. This is an ambitious project which, by 2016, is expected to reach over 50% of the Italian population with NGAN and 80% of the population with the 4G mobile network, making a considerable contribution to achieving the aims of the European Digital Agenda. This is all now a reality in Bologna, thanks to the active involvement of the municipal authorities".
"The agreement signed today is of great interest for us, it allows Telecom Italia to complete work which is very important for the city - states the mayor of Bologna Virginio Merola -. Providing Bologna with new generation infrastructure, such as the fibre optic and 4G mobile networks, opens new scenarios for those who live and work in the city. I am proud to confirm that Bologna is about to become the first city in Italy to achieve the objectives set out in the European Digital Agenda".
By creating ultrabroadband and dedicated solutions for the city of Bologna, Telecom Italia has confirmed its commitment to innovating at local level and disseminating the services enabled by these solutions, thus contributing to the sustainable growth of the local economy and to improving quality of life for citizens.
Bologna, 14th April 2014