TIM, INWIT to deploy small cells to boost 5G coverage in Italian cities

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Italian carrier TIM and cell tower company INWIT started a collaboration to deploy small cells in Italy’s major cities with the aim of supporting the development of 5G.

The two companies said that the collaboration will begin in the cities of Milan and Genoa where they expect to install nearly 100 small cells and will continue in other cities and places with high traffic density.

The collaboration is part of a master service agreement  between TIM and INWIT.

TIM described the small cells as “small antennas built and used to integrate the signal that is guaranteed by the systems placed on traditional towers.

“Despite the spread throughout the territory of traditional macro towers—INWIT has over 22,000 sites—and despite the fact that their number is growing to meet the ever-increasing demand for mobile connections by customers, more and more small cells systems capable of increasing the quality of the signal will be developed in large urban centers,” TIM said in a release. “Small cells play a fundamental role, especially for the development and perfect functioning of 5G and its services. Indeed, this new technology features low latency and a data transmission speed ten times faster than previous systems. In order to maintain these characteristics and to allow all connected devices to operate at their best, the quality of the 5G radio signal must always be optimal.”

TIM and INWIT said they have already experimented with underground solutions in several municipalities, such as small cells that are inserted in manholes under the road surface.

The carrier initially launched 5G services in parts of Turin, Rome and Naples in July 2019. TIM had previously announced that it expects to provide 5G technology in at least 120 cities and 200 tourist destinations across Italy by 2021.

As of today, TIM provides 5G services in parts of Roma, Milan, Torino, Florence, Napoli, Bologna, Genova, Sanremo, Brescia and Monza. TIM’s 5G offering will soon reach new cities including Verona, Ferrara, Matera and Bari in the short term, according to local press reports.

The operator had said that the speed of the 5G service will be increasing progressively up to 10 Gbps by 2021. TIM previously noted that its 5G services will be offered through spectrum in the 700 MHz, 3.6-3.8 GHz and 26.5-27.5 GHz bands.

For the initial phase of 5G deployment, TIM deployed Ericsson’s 3GPP standards-based Non-Standalone 5G portfolio from Ericsson Radio System, supported through a software upgrade of their existing 5G Core network.

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