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TIM and the Digital Life challenges

Interview with Giovanni Ferigo

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We sat down with Giovanni Ferigo, the head of TIM Technology,  and talked about the challenges and opportunities ahead of us in 2017 and in the near future in terms of innovation and technology. 

In which technological context does TIM operate?
The technological context in which we move is an ecosystem where technology is getting more and more widespread, ever-present and ever-influencing. This trait defines the concept of "digital life" according to which we all see technology as a part of us rather than something foreign to us, something that is part and parcel of our lives. 
Which are your strong points, as TIM?
Widespread, above all. We reach all corners of the country through our personnel and systems.
For instance, we have laid down more than 12 million km of optic fibre and our 4G mobile network covers more than 96% of the population.
Speed is our second asset. These are the days of gigabits. Besides connecting millions of homes at speeds reaching 1 Gbits/s, we are almost at the same levels on mobile phones too. We launched 500Mbits/s downlink speed in mobile phones in five cities i.e. Rome, Palermo, Sanremo, Milan and Turin. The first in Europe.
Our third strong point is quality. The advanced telephone infrastructure we are building in Italy will enable our customers to access exclusive contents whenever, wherever and however they wish.
Besides an extensive, fast and quality coverage, we are also very innovative. We invest heavily in technological innovation , especially in our Turin and Rome laboratories.
In these centres, we lead research on all technological innovations we are faced with: Internet of Things, Big Data, 5G, Smart Cities.
What about TIM's technological investments plans over the next three years?
We are still working on Fiber To The Home as concerns landlines, striving to connect as many housing units as we can. We are also introducing a new technology called EVDSL,  i.e. Enhanced VDSL, which is expected to push us all the way up to 200 Mbits/s downlink speed over copper lines at the customer’s home.
As concerns mobile network instead, we are still developing and implementing the 4G network striving to hit the 98% mark by this year and boost the 3G network.
Besides infrastructure, we are also working on platforms. VOLTE, i.e. Voice Over LTE, which means IP voice over LTE. This is the true novelty in the field. We are working on the Narrowband IOT platform, i.e. an Internet of Things narrowband which will enable us to empower new sensoristic businesses in developing new health, insurance and smart-oriented automotive solutions.
The next technological challenge?  
5G is the next technological challenge we are working on. Though still at standardisation stage, it is expected to be launched in the market by 2020.
We entered an agreement with the Municipality of Turin so that the city of Turin and the Polytechnic will be our ground-breaking example of application of 5G come 2019.
What is 5G about? 5G is a sensational totally innovative technology expected to perform 10 times better than our current network both in terms of speed and availability. 
The 5G network will enable connecting millions of devices per sqkm, providing countless information that will change the way we live, the way we do business. 
In other words, we technologists never get bored!