TIM, as a Telco company, considers its participation to the 5G-TOURS project as a motivation of proudness, having the opportunity to collaborate with the different stakeholders of the use cases (vertical partners, providers of vertical applications, manufacturers of network equipment) and build an ecosystem that can be the basis for future 5G business. In addition, 5G-TOURS is a very good place where experiment on field the benefits of innovative network functionalities (such as network slicing, resource elasticity, virtualization, orchestration and AI) as well as gain expertise on new use cases enabled by 5G addressing service types that were not effectively covered by 4G and can potentially provide mobile network operators with new revenue streams.
TIM’s commitment on 5G has been strong since the first phases of this new technology. Moving ahead, TIM already launched 4 major programs in 2017 to test and develop technologies, services and business cases related to 5G in Italy with the aim of being the leading operator of the Italian market of the new 5G paradigm. With “5G for Italy” program, TIM was the first operator in Italy to create a corporate partnership platform to develop 5G vertical ecosystems and service use cases involving 14 partners of excellence in their respective vertical markets. For ”Torino 5G” program, in March 2017, the President of TIM and the Mayor of Turin signed a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) which provides that Turin is the first Italian ‘5G powered’ city with a specific focus on use cases Smart City and Automotive / Smart Roads. The concept of a 5G commercial platform for Italy was replicated in Bari and Matera (“Trial MISE 5G” program) where TIM is carrying out a commercial 5G pre-trial at 3,6 GHz as per the 2017 MISE Call, involving 55 partners from the local economic fabric, including many SMEs. With “5G San Marino” the Republic of San Marino has become the first state in Europe, one of the first in the world, to have a complete 5G mobile network coverage. In San Marino, the focus is on Smart City and e-tourism use cases. From these Programs, currently still in progress, it is emerging that the 5G Network will allow the creation of a wide range of solutions for various application areas, becoming an incremental innovation factor in some cases and disruptive in others. In December 2018 TIM inaugurated in Rome the first Innovation Hub dedicated to 5G, a space that intends to attract the entire ecosystem of companies, startups, R&D centers and other actors interested in digital evolution, proposing itself as reference of excellence in Italy for the development and testing of innovative services and solutions based on the new 5G technology. The inauguration was also the occasion for an important premiere: the first 5G video call on Millimeter Band. Nowadays, TIM 5G commercial network is already available in numerous cities along Italy, with services for citizens and businesses at a speed of up to 2 Gigabits per second. By 2021 TIM will cover the main cities, touristic destinations and industrial districts and the entire national 5G coverage is expected in 2025. At the same time, TIM continues its activities on the innovative aspects of 5G with several collaborations in both national and international contexts, such as the involvements in the 5G-TOURS project.
TIM contributes to the main 5G-TOURS activates in the different WPs. In this context, the main effort is provided in the framework of WP4 “Touristic city use cases implementation” in which TIM is covering the role of Turin site manager as supervisor of the use cases development and implementation, as well as responsible of the activities related to the 5G network solution design and deployment in collaboration with Ericsson. Related to the use case development, TIM directly contributes to UC1 “Augmented tourism experience” (AR component) and UC2 “Telepresence”. In relation to UC1, TIM works on the definition of the software architecture solution to integrate multimedia, IoT and Open-Data (for smart city services) into a common framework and to develop the related software module for beacons discovery (an initial application demo can be watched here). Activities on UC2 are focused on the definition of an architecture solution for telepresence services using the Double Robotics DOUBLE 3 robot enabled by 5G connectivity. In relation to the 5G network solution development, TIM collaborated with Ericsson in order to provide 5G outdoor and indoor coverages at “Palazzo Madama” in Turin where, in December 2020, the first trial of the UC5 itinerant orchestra took place. According to the phased approach for the 5G-TOURS network implementation, the phase 1 5G network solution has been designed to be part of the TIM commercial network based on the NSA Option 3 architecture in which the radio access network is composed of a LTE layer as “anchor layer” (working at 1800 MHz with 20 MHz bandwidth) and a 5G layer as secondary layer (working at 3,7 GHz with 80 MHz bandwidth); in this scheme LTE provides the control plane function while LTE and NR are used for the data plane. The radio access network is then connected to EPC (Evolved Packet Core). The 5G indoor coverage of Palazzo Madama consisted of 4 different radio installations connected to a remote 5G Baseband located 2,8 km far from the site thanks to an ad-hoc optical fiber connection installed by TIM. The LTE anchor layer of the 5G indoor coverage was provided by the two outdoor LTE commercial sites that cover Palazzo Madama. For the 5G outdoor coverage, the LTE site covering the area in front of the museum was extended to provide a co-siting 5G cell. The activities are now continuing towards the phase 2 of the network solution implementation which objective is to provide a new 5G indoor coverage at Palazzo Madama and GAM (Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Turin) for all the WP4 use cases implementation and validation activity.