Italy to provide spectrum for 5G trials in five areas

17 Mar 2017

The Italian government is planning to offer spectrum covering five cities to enable telecoms operators and other bodies to conduct trials of 5G mobile technology. 3.4GHz-3.8GHz frequencies will be made available in three packets covering Milan, plus Prato and L’Aquila, and Bari and Matera, Corriere delle Comunicazioni reports. Operators and bodies such as universities and research groups will be able to conduct trials in a range of urban settings, including Milan’s underground rail network and earthquake reconstruction zones in L’Aquila, the government says. The EU is calling for member states to have identified at least one city for 5G testing by 2018, with a network in place by 2020, and the Italian government says it is accepting this challenge and raising the bar by selecting five areas for 5G trials to take place. Authorities say they hope to raise EUR2.5 billion (USD2.7 billion) from the sale of 5G-capable spectrum.

As reported by CommsUpdate earlier this week, Telecom Italia (TIM) plans to launch Italy’s first 5G network in the northern city of Turin. The telco confirmed in December that Turin would be its first 5G market, and it now says that it will be installing its first 100 5G-ready small cells in the city’s main streets and squares as early as end-2017 under a newly-signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with local authorities. TIM then expects to launch its first 5G technology trial in an urban environment in 2018, using a further 200 ultra-broadband mobile sites, with the aim of covering the entire city with a 5G network by 2020. TIM has selected Turin as its 5G test-bed as this is the location of its main research and development centre.