The new frontiers of mobile technology have arrived in Sanremo. TIM is deploying some antennas for the new 5G network in the City of Flowers during the Sanremo Festival. These antennas use the frequency bands acquired as a result of the recent Ministry for Economic Development bid, which called for an overall investment of 2.4 billion euros.
More specifically, the frequencies used have been available since 1st January of this year on the 3.7 GHz spectrum through Ericsson's new 5G intelligent antennas (Massive MIMO), which enable dynamic variation of the single customer's frequency position and of the generated data traffic. Since TIM's 5G network was already operational, the early terminal prototypes were able to connect live to the network with the support of the 5G Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X50 modem, which was tested for the first time at the end of 2018 in TIM's Italian laboratory, well ahead of the commercial smartphones scheduled to arrive on the market in 2019.
Accelerating technology development in this way has placed Sanremo among the first Italian cities to be equipped with this new infrastructure, which will enable coverage of the entire city centre area. The initiative is part of a broader TIM project to boost 5G in Italy with the aim of making next generation services available to its customers in the first part of the year.
The new network will make it possible to test the innovative 4K 360º video streaming service in Virtual Reality during the Festival. Visitors who stop by the dedicated areas at Santa Tecla Fort, Cristoforo Colombo Square and the Ariston Theatre Press Room will be transported to the events being held in Cristoforo Colombo Square for an immersive visit. This will be accomplished through a high-definition camera that takes advantage of the full potential of the 5G mobile network (high frequency and low latency). The innovative service will power new applications in the fields of tourism, public safety and Industry 4.0.
It will also be possible to experience a guided visit from the stations in Cristoforo Colombo Square and Santa Tecla Fort as a part of larger digital tourism projects. Visitors will take immersive tours of Piazza Navona in Rome and the Pietro Micca Museum in Turin via Virtual Reality glasses, interacting with a real museum guide and exploring areas that are not usually open to the public.
Virtual Reality is one of the fields of application that can be further enhanced through the use of the 5G networks. This application scenario is already widely used in many sectors. The potential created through virtualisation technologies can increase the appeal of the city for tourists, start-ups and local creative studios, making this an important vehicle for communicating cultural offers in the area, just as the MIBAC envisaged in its Strategic Plan for Tourism.
In addition to innovative 5G technologies, TIM has reinforced the 4.5G network in Sanremo through the use of 44 micro and macro cell antennas that are all connected in fibre, resulting in a total of 136 cells covering 99% of the population to ensure TIM customers excellent quality of service.
Once again, TIM has confirmed its role as the market leader of mobile communications in Italy and of developments for fifth generation services, as seen during the 2018 trial phase. These services will soon be available to all TIM customers throughout Italy, setting the stage for improvements to resident lifestyle, as well as corporate and public administration production process governance, steering the country into a smarter, more connected environment. The technology will be applied to the fields of public safety, mobility, environmental monitoring, healthcare, tourism, culture, media services, education and entertainment.
Sanremo, 4 February 2019