TIM shows off 5G capabilities at Rally Legend

Telecom Italia has taken to the sixteenth edition of Rally Legend to show off its 5G smarts in the test bed of San Marino.

The microstate, which is currently serving as the Telecom Italia 5G living lab, is the first state in Europe to experience the 5G euphoria, with the Rally Legend event, a car racing bonanza, the latest experiment.

“We are particularly delighted to be able to work alongside Rally Legend to demonstrate how new technologies can support sports events at an international level,” stated Cesare Pisani, CEO of TIM San Marino.

“With the ‘San Marino 5G’ project TIM aims to deliver technological excellence to the Republic of San Marino making it the first 5G State in Europe. The activities are proceeding in line with the plans agreed with local government and the switching on of the Serravalle Stadio antenna, together with uses that have already been implemented, represent a new important step along this path.”

After Secretary of State for the Territory and Tourism, Augusto Michelotti, switched on the new Serravalle Stadio 5G antenna the fun began. 360° cameras have been activated on the race track, allowing fans to experience the action through VR headsets, while the TIM streaming platform will broadcast the footage on large screens throughout the village. Aside from traditional cameras, live action cameras placed inside the cars and web operators who shoot footage of the race with their smartphones, will also contribute to the action.

While all the demonstrations and trials in San Marino are small scale, the lessons learned through the real-world lab will pay dividends ahead of the up-coming launch in Italy.

San Marino set to be first European 5G state – TIM

Telecom Italia has announced it expects 5G services to be greenlight in San Marino by the end of the year, making it the first 5G state in Europe. If only they had the handsets.

With TIM engineers plugging away in Faetano to hook up 3GPP Rel15 standard radio equipment with Massive-MIMO technology, the aim is to have complete 5G coverage by the end of the year. With the team back in head office running the final tests on 26 GHz millimetre waves in the 26.5-27.5 GHz frequency range, the hope is San Marino will become a living lab to test out new 5G services.

“The installation of the first 3GPP 5G site is the peak of a virtuous cycle of innovation launched by TIM a few years ago, working with the standardization bodies and contributing since the beginning to the ITU R ‘Vision’ recommendation which defined the founding concepts of 5G, subsequently guiding work on the technical specifications for 3GPP Rel15 and later,” said Elisabetta Romano, CTO at TIM.

“Nokia has developed an end-to-end 5G Future X portfolio that will deliver unprecedented capabilities and efficiencies for customers such as TIM, allowing them to transform their service offering,” said Marc Rouanne, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia. “Working together we will explore the potential of 5G services that align with TIM’s vision of meeting the future demands of a diverse range of industries and consumers.”

The first stages of the deployment plan were complete with various successful trials run over the 3.5 GHz frequency band, though it seems the 26 GHz millimetre waves is what is catching the attention of the team. Equipment will be deployed from September to move trials from the Turin R&D centre to the San Marino living lab, focusing on areas such as Industry 4.0, public safety, Smart Parking and Gas & Water Metering applications for smart cities and digital tourism, including virtual reality.

Having signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of the microstate in July last year, San Marino could actually be one of the first country’s in the world to experience the 5G bonanza. That said, this should not be taking as a sign things are all rosy across the European continent; hooking up a microstate with a land mass of 23.63 mi² and a population of just over 33,000 should be viewed as nothing more than an experiment for TIM. Europe still lags behind North America and Asia in the race to 5G, but progress is being made.

TIM, Nokia and Qualcomm do some 5G stuff in San Marino

Do you remember when San Marino said it would be the first 5G country? Well they’ve only gone and done it.

It was almost a year ago that San Marino signed a memorandum of understanding with Italian telecoms group TIM to become a 5G guinea pig. Now that MoU has come to fruition, with the activation of the first 5G network hubs in San Marino, in partnership with Nokia and Qualcomm, which included a millimeter wave 5G mobile test device using the Snapdragon X50 modem.

“By the end of the summer the first mobile sites will be adapted to the new 5G radio interface, coinciding with the progressive introduction of small cells, small and low power antennas which, connected by fibre optic cable and located in various areas of the country, will provide performance levels unattainable with current technologies, and with minimum environmental impact,” said Cesare Pisani, TIM San Marino CEO, who is apparently not a fan of full stops.

“Today we have reached a new important milestone, which confirms TIM’s ability to be a leader in innovation processes in the sector, a role we also play at global level, contributing to establishing the 5G standard,” said Stefano Siragusa, TIM Chief Wholesales, Infrastructures, Network and Systems Officer. “By enabling new generation services in San Marino, we are looking forward to the future, paying particular attention to the development of innovative services related to public safety, transport, tourism and Industry 4.0 which enable the Smart City model”.

“The new applications developed thanks to 5G – pointed out Andrea Zafferani, Secretary of State for Industry with special responsibility for Telecommunications – will bring economic and social benefits to the whole community of San Marino and will put the Republic of San Marino in a unique position among European States in terms of both technological innovation and the efficiency and quality of services offered to tourists and citizens”.

“Thanks to 5G the Republic of San Marino will become a state-of-the-art tourist centre, with the new networks and services using Virtual Reality, our country will in fact become a pole of attraction for digital tourism as well, allowing a growing number of people to appreciate its architectural and cultural beauties, exploring them in an immersive mode, even remotely,” said Marco Podeschi, Secretary of State for Culture and Innovation, also showing a possibly endemic aversion to decisive punctuation.

While there will be some real utility to this San Marino experiment, this event seems to have been largely ceremonial for both the countries and the companies involved. Inwit and Olivetti also got a piece of the action as did a few other politicians. We’ve no doubt it all culminated in a great night out for all concerned.