As of today, MAXXI, the national museum of 21st-century art, is equipped with cutting-edge infrastructure for mobile phone reception, ready for the new 5G technology to be launched by operators in the coming months.
Using low-emission micro-antennae located in the gallery's exhibition rooms and reception spaces, MAXXI's new distributed antenna system (DAS) optimises mobile signal from phone companies once connected. It makes reception more stable and powerful, and lets visitors use social media, make video calls and send photos, videos and data as effectively as possible.
The DAS was built by INWIT, a leader in mobile phone infrastructure in Italy, with more than 11,000 towers all over the country. In collaboration with all mobile operators, it is providing indoor and outdoor micro-coverage.
The exponential rise in mobile phone use, and in particular of data transfer for work and pleasure, has created a need for systems with micro-antennae to cover busy places like railway stations, hospitals, shopping centres, large office buildings and, now, museums. Moreover, DAS infrastructure underpins the network architecture for the 5G mobile technology now being launched.
MAXXI is the first museum in Italy to be fitted with a DAS system. It instantly improved mobile phone reception for visitors, and made the gallery ready for 5G and all the services the new technology will allow. Augmented reality – using visors – is one such service, along with virtual guides that can quickly download information on exhibitions or individual works, to enrich the museum experience. These services can be designed and set up by the gallery in collaboration with operators or other companies, and will be a genuine revolution in how we enjoy art.
The choice to activate the new DAS system today coincides with the opening of the exhibition 'On the spiritual matter of art' at MAXXI. This large collective explores the topic of spirituality through the eyes of some of the biggest international artists, with a focus on Enzo Cucchi.
This occasion marks the first stage of the broader collaboration that MAXXI and INWIT have decided to establish in the name of art and technology.
Giovanna Melandri, president of the MAXXI Foundation, comments: 'MAXXI has always been an open platform, a laboratory of the future in which art and innovative technologies meet to create new paths and new ways of communicating. In 2020, the year MAXXI celebrates its tenth anniversary, we intend to create a real paradigm shift with our partner INWIT, in which new technologies contribute to the definition of a broader creative dimension. The DAS system is really the ideal beginning for designing, distributing and conveying content and services of high innovative value for the museum-going public, including by means of the 5G revolution.'
'The DAS system at MAXXI is the first to be set up in a gallery,' says Giovanni Ferigo, CEO of INWIT. 'We are certain that our experience in setting up infrastructures for indoor mobile coverage will help the gallery exploit all the possibilities of this technology, developing new services for visitors. We chose MAXXI for this launch because we wanted a museum that wasn't just a place of preservation and exhibition, but a laboratory of experimentation and cultural innovation, where the aesthetic content of our times is designed, researched and produced.'
Rome, 16 October 2019