Elisabetta Romano is Chief Technology and Innovation Officer for TIM and is responsible for ensuring TIM’s technological innovation, the evolution of the networks, and for the Information Technology required to support TIM’s digitization process at Group level. The 5G World team interviewed Elisabetta ahead of the show to gain a sneak peek for what we can expect at our upcoming conference.
TIM invested 2.39 billion euros on 5G spectrum in late 2018 for expansion of mobile network. Why has TIM invested heavily on spectrum? What monetisation opportunities does TIM expect from 5G?
Spectrum is one of the key assets for telco operators. Through such investment, TIM has secured both the best coverage – with the 700 MHz bandwidth – and the highest speeds through higher bandwidths such as the 3.6 GHz and the 28 GHz, necessary to provide specific services. Business and consumer use cases are increasing every day: constantly growing mobile traffic, increasing demand of dedicated networks for industry automation, and we are seeing the first requirements for guided vehicles both in private spaces or in smart cities.
‘TIM has done a lot of tests on SMART cities, industry 4.0, entertainment, public safety etc sectors’
What new (5G) enterprise services should we expect TIM to bring to market, and why?
Since the beginning of the trials, we have had more than 70 partners in Turin, San Marino, Bari and Matera, including private big and small enterprises, P.A., universities and research centres. I believe that the industrial sector will have the greatest demand first. IoT services, particularly security and video surveillance, will also benefit from the upcoming development of 5G.
What do you expect the consumer pick up of 5G products and services will be? What services should TIM consumers expect?
Of course, ultra-broadband Internet access will be one of the key services. As we know, video is one of the main traffic drivers, video services like our TIMVISION are growing, also sports events are growing in terms of consumption via the Internet, particularly when on the move. This said, the availability of new devices and particularly of 5G smartphones is crucial for the consumer segment.
What are the main (market, technology, business, regulatory or other) challenges in achieving 5G rollout and what needs to be done to further unlock innovation in the telecoms industry (globally, in Europe or Italy)?
5G is a ground-breaking technology, which will need several factors being coordinated in order to have a quick deployment. The regulatory framework in Italy is challenging, for example, because of very low EMC limits in comparison to other European countries. Also, the financial commitment is demanding, first to acquire the spectrum, then to roll out the technology, which means that the operators will need to find innovative approaches to infrastructure development. Then there are the new devices that need to be tested. Last but not least, 5G demands a new approach in developing the network function and core network: cloud-native microservice based architecture with strong API exposure to enable a rich ecosystem of developers and business partners, is by itself a challenging effort.
You will be delivering a Keynote speech at the 5G World (11-13 June 2019, Excel, London). Could you give us a sneak peek of what our audience should expect to hear from you and what are you looking forward to at the Forum?
I don’t want to reveal too much. I can tell you I will describe our trial experience and how we are working to make 5G real a business development platform, with a new cloud-native architecture that leverages AI and extensive API for both internal to the company and external, open ecosystem development.
It’s your chance to hear from Elisabetta Romano directly at 5G World 2019 which is taking place on 11-13 June, at the ExCeL in London. Register now as a free visitor to join us at the largest 5G show featuring 30+ hours of free content delivered by CxO telco executives like Elisabetta.