Today Telecom Italia announced that it is the first carrier in Italy to launch its next-generation wireless network in the cities of Milan and Rome. The new network offers transmission speeds of up to 21 Megabits per second, an increase on the current maximum network speed of 14.4 Mbit/s.
Twenty-one Mbit/s High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) technology improves the performance of services available to customers today, and will significantly boost the take-up of multimedia content and services over mobile phones, particularly HD video streaming and high-quality “video collaboration” for teleworking, by leveraging an increase in uplink peak transmission speeds to 5.7 Mbit/s. TIM customers will benefit from faster internet downloads and uploads, improved audio/video content quality, and be able to do more on the move.
Twenty-one Megabit services will be available in the cities of Milan and Rome from December. A new range of USB modems designed specially for this technology will initially be rolled out to businesses, before becoming available on the mass-market.
Franco Bernabè, Telecom Italia’s CEO, said: “This venture confirms the company’s decision to take a 360-degree approach to broadband evolution in Italy spanning both landlines and mobile, and to pioneer technological innovation. Telecom Italia’s number one business priority is to evolve, upgrade and adapt the network to cater to customer demand across the country.”
Bernabè added: “One of Telecom Italia’s institutional duties is to ensure that Italy has the first-rate infrastructure and network intelligence necessary for high-speed broadband infrastructure and services to become an increasingly strategic factor for business competitivity and, consequently, a vital driver of the nation’s economic development.”
The 21 Megabit service will gradually be rolled out nationwide to ensure that all TIM customers benefit from reliable, high-quality services. By the end of 2011, 42 Mbit/s services are scheduled for initial rollout; by the end of 2012, services powered by new LTE-technology 4G network will gradually be rolled out. 4G trials were recently completed in Turin at actual data transmission speeds in excess of 100 Megabits per second per cell.
Launch of 21 Megabit HSPA technology is part of Telecom Italia’s next-generation mobile network development plan, which the company is implementing to support new services and the enormous amount of traffic generated by mobile phones, USB modems, smartphones and recently-introduced tablets.
The development plan calls for a radical upgrade of the wireless network, transport infrastructure and communications protocols to cater to ever-increasing speeds and data traffic volumes. In 2010, the TIM network will handle around 60 petabytes of traffic, 15 times more than the 4 petabytes it carried in 2007. In 2013, the company expects to handle 150 petabytes of traffic (2.5 times the 2010 figure).
By the end of this year, around 25% of the mobile network will benefit from links between aerials and the fibre-optic backbone, Ethernet over ADSL or next-generation radio relays. By 2013, more than 80% of TIM cell sites will be equipped with high-speed links.
Oscar Cicchetti, Head of Technology & Operations at Telecom Italia, said: “We want the TIM mobile network to remain number one for quality and performance, which is why it we are continuing to invest in technology and services. Over the next 24 months, we will be increasing our voice and data coverage, enhancing cell capacity, connecting most of our sites with fibre optics, and developing new platforms and new services to ensure that we offer our clients an outstanding traditional service and mobile internet experience. Over the next three years, over a thousand Technology & Operations operatives will be working on this project and upgrading 15 cell sites per day.”
Milan, 20 October 2010