In 2019 TIM committed a total of around 1,300 employees to working on technological innovation and engineering activities in 2019, representing an overall investment of 1,113 million euros, for the S.p.A.
Here at TIM, research and innovation, both technological and business-based, represent the central element to respond to the change in the technological, market and competitive context.
Innovation at TIM involves various internal and external stakeholders of the company, such as:
- traditional and digital partners, for the joint go2market of digital services;
- research centres and universities, for cooperation and joint projects. In 2019, a number of research contracts were signed with nine Italian universities amounting to a total value of 1.3 million euros - Standardisation Bodies and Associations: TIM is still very active within the main Standardisation Bodies and Associations, with 29 memberships in 2019, representing a total commitment of around a million euros.
Our research and testing activities take place in the TIM Open Labs in Turin and are focused around these topics:
- IoT, Internet of Things
- Smart Services
- Big Data
- Artificial Intelligence
- Digital Services
- Network Virtualization
In 2018, more than 180 companies and customers visited the Lab, and among them, around fifty construction companies agreed a partnership with TIM allowing them to use the Lab’s facilities free of charge.
TIM has always been active in innovative and research initiatives funded by the European Eunion and by national public administrations. This has enabled it to obtain funding of around 16 million euros over the 2017-2019 period and to take part in projects with a high innovation content.
The patenting areas relate to the whole ICT sector, with areas of excellence in the mobile sector, where TIM is one of the leading TLC operators worldwide.
In detail, the TIM patents portfolio, relative to approximately 600 patented inventions, included over 3,300 patent applications and patents as of December 31, 2019, of which 88% comprising patents (granted by 38 patent offices).
In particular, much work was done on the Smart Services front with a view to promoting the Smart City model according to the concept that improving the quality of life involves the development of innovative digital services for customers.
But to promote innovation, in addition to relying on the work of our laboratories and research centres, we are increasingly moving towards “Open Innovation” from the perspective of maximizing internal contributions and integrating them with external ones.
Agreements with universities of excellence (Politecnico di Torino (Polytechnic University of Turin), Università di Torino (University of Torino), Università di Catania (University of Catania), Politecnico di Bari (Polytechnic University of Bari), Università di Bari (University of Bari), Università di Salento (University of Salento), Università di Basilicata (University of Basilicata), SSSA di Pisa (SASAS of Pisa), partnerships with tech companies (Ericsson, Huawei and other internationally renowned companies), and relations with the world of start-ups through TIM #Wcap, are all geared towards this.
TIM switched on the new 5G network in Sanremo in February 2019 as main sponsor to the 69th Festival della Canzone Italiana song festival and also introduced the new mobile network to stadiums in Rome and Udine, doubling the performance of the 4.5G mobile network.
In the same month, TIM introduced ten start-ups developed within the Group's TIMWCAP open innovation incubator at the Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona.
In May, in Genoa, the first innovative 5G service tests on using drones and rover-type vehicles controlled remotely via the mobile network for the purposes of regional control and monitoring were launched.
TIM officially launched 5G in Rome on July 5, 2019 and announced the cities that were already covered (Naples, Rome and Turin), along with development plans, commercial offerings and the initial services already available for consumers and business customers.
In late July, TIM brought 5G to Naples and, in early August, signed a memorandum of understanding with the City of Turin that strengthened their partnership with a view to using 5G to make the Piedmontese capital a pioneering model of a digital city.
In November 2019, TIM and the City of Turin introduced Europe’s first 5G Edge Cloud live network with connected drones in Turin, enabling the big data collected from IoT platforms to be processed in an integrated manner and analyses by artificial intelligence systems, consequently making the 5G Edge Cloud central to developing and deploying Smart City digital services, including public safety and driverless cars, environmental monitoring and Industry 4.0
TIM Brasil is also very active on the innovation front: in 2019, over 140 validation processes were carried out on new software, functionalities, solutions, technologies, services and devices. TIM Participações invested more than 2.7 million reais in instruments, infrastructure and services, and additional investments for over 10 million reais have been planned for the 2020-2022 period.