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Geographical Digital Inclusion

Bringing the digital experience into people’s lives also involves addressing the technological divide in the so-called marginal areas of Italy. These areas would otherwise be excluded from the ordinary plans of TLC operators due to the low profitability of investments.
TIM has run an ultrabroadband investment plan incorporating both fixed and mobile for this reason.
The ICT sector on one hand offers the potential for allowing everyone to take part in social and economic life and on the other offers solutions for a more sustainable future, which saves both time and natural resources. 5G technology is at the forefront in this area.
But what can 5G actually provide, in reality? It’s a technology with a huge number of applications that will really be able to bring great changes to all of our everyday lives.    
Info-digital-inclusion
As well as self-driving cars that can be monitored and driven remotely thanks to a system that can receive all information on the surrounding area, we’ll be able to connect to other vehicles and infrastructure, including public resources, to increase safety and save energy.
Staying on the move, there will be high data traffic, for parking sensors, GPS, voice commands and braked and assisted driving systems for example.
Relations with suppliers and end customers will also be managed in real time. 
But that’s not all. There will be developments for the those who live in smart cities in many other important areas. For example:
- doctors will be able to follow and monitor patients with chronic ailments and illnesses remotely
- tourists will be able to enhance theirs visits with information and multimedia content using sensors in their smartphones
- public safety levels will be higher than in the past because of new mobile video surveillance solutions
- it will be possible to establish live connections in the information sector with higher video quality, thanks to greater communication bandwidth and lower latency and without needing to use complex instruments
- the world of industry will be revolutionised (Industry 4.0) through the adoption of robots, 3D printers and other complex instruments and the use of sensors to improve production and processes.
There are three main 5G business scenarios:
·     Enhanced Mobile Broadband for Gbps-level video and communication transmission (enabling Augmented/Virtual Reality)
·     Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communication, typical of many requirements of industry and the most demanding vertical markets – autonomous driving, energy management, robotics – and mission-critical services
·     Massive Machine Type Communication, which permits connection between objects, that is, IoT (Internet of Things) and Smart Cities.
But using 5G also means observing energy efficiency requirements, as indicated by the ITU IMT-Vision Recommendation (M.2083), so that energy consumption doesn’t exceed that of the existing networks. The aim is for the increase in occupied bandwidth not to translate into increased consumption.
In terms of communication from fixed systems, digital inclusion increasingly involves the development of fibre optics. 2018 saw FTTC coverage completed in 2,680 municipalities and FTTH coverage in 120 municipalities.
Indicators

 

Target 2021 2018

2017

2016

2015

ADSL coverage(*)

   

99.38

99.31

99.10

UMTS and HSDPA coverage(**)

   

>98

>97

96.00

LTE coverage(**)

  99

98

>96

88.00

Next Generation Plan (fixed telephony) coverage (***)

81 79.8

77.0

58.90

42.00

of which FTTH 22 14.2 9.2 3.9  

(*)  The percentage refers to fixed TIM telephone lines.
(**) The percentage refers to the resident population. Coverage values are subject to change based on ISTAT and urbanisations updates.
(***)FTTX stans fo Fiber To The X, where X can be C for cabinet, H for house, B for building or E for exchange. The percentage is determined by the ratio between the number of properties connected with “cabinets” reached by access optical fibres (or which can be served directly from an exchange if within acceptable distances) and the total number of properties that have or have had active telephone lines in the past (includes a small percentage of FTTH related only to the city of Milan).

TIM has two NGAN network architectures that permit the provision of high-speed services through fibre optics:
·     Fiber To The Cabinet (FTTC): the fibre optic cables leave the exchange and arrive at the street cabinet, where a device transfers the data traffic to the modems/routers in the building on twisted double copper cables. This network can achieve a speed of 200 megabits per second, with the potential to achieve 300 megabits per second through further technological development.  
·     Fiber To The Home (FTTH): the fibre optic cables leave the exchange and arrive directly inside homes. This network can achieve speeds of one gigabit per second and is developed in areas already covered by FTTC technology, so as to guarantee customer choice in terms of connection speed.
Staying with TIM’s NGAN network, much work has also been done to extend ADSL coverage and services in Italy. At the end of 2018, the ADSL service was active in approximately 9,690 exchanges, including 8,500 with fibre optic carriers.
To address the technological divide in the so-called marginal areas of Italy, TIM ran an investment plan between 2005 and December 2018 which permitted ADSL coverage for a total of 7,672 municipalities.

Social Digital Inclusion

TIM also works towards social digital inclusion in Italy, particularly in terms of discounts and specific measures for certain categories of customers, indicated below.
1. Deaf, blind and partially sighted customers. In accordance with National Telecoms Regulator (AGCom) resolution no. 46/2017/CONS, TIM has given these customers both fixed network internet and mobile phone concession offers(1). These concessions do not need to be renewed once activated and are also reserved for the nuclear family in which the deaf, blind or partially sighted person lives. Information on concessions can be requested from TIM customer service 187 and 119. Hearing-impaired customers can request assistance by contacting TIM customer service 187 and 119 through the Pedius app, available for Apple and Android. This uses voice recognition and voice synthesis technologies to turn the voice of the operator into written text for the customer.
2. Low-income customers who find themselves in “economic hardship”. TIM reserves these concessions – established by AGCom(2) or the Company on its own initiative(3) – solely for customers with an ISEE(4)family unit income of no more than 8,112.23 euros per year, for use of the telephone service in their primary residence (on traditional RTG network(5)). The concession lasts for as long as the ISEE certificate is valid (15 January of the year following issue) and the request must be renewed annually.
3. Customers who hold a “social card”. On its own initiative, TIM gives these customers a reduction on the amount of the telephone service subscription (14.69 €/month including VAT). The concession is valid for one year and is renewed automatically on 1 January each year. In this case, these concessions cannot be combined with each other and the customer can request only one(6).
TIM also guarantees its support for customers resident in areas affected by natural disasters (seismic events, floods), both when the emergency is being managed and in the medium/long term in order to attend to the related requirements.
 

(1) In accordance with the aforementioned resolution, for:

·  fixed telephony, for the benefit of deaf customers, is exempt from the telephone service subscription fee (VOICE OFFER), with 180 free monthly hours of internet (broadband ADSL connections) on the offer “by usage” already active on the line (the benefit was only available to customers who had activated a by usage offer before 14 January 2018). There is also a discount of 50% on the subscription to an additional internet offer or a discount of 50% on the subscription to voice+internet offers, as specified for blind and partially sighted customers (different offers in the TIM SMART HOME and FIBRE range);

·  mobile telephony the TIM concessions guarantee a 20 Gb volume of data traffic and the sending of SMS Unlimited for deaf customers (TIM EASY SMS+GB), while, for blind and partially sighted customers, an offer consisting of unlimited minutes of voice traffic and a volume of data traffic of 10 Gb (TIM EASY VOICE+GB). These dedicated offers are on the tim.it websites: tim.it/agevolazioni-per-non-vedenti-e-non-udenti/offerte-fisso; tim.it/agevolazioni-per-non-vedenti-e-non-udenti/offerte-mobile.

(2) AGCom Resolution No. 258/18/CONS (already approved by AGCom 314/00/CONS and 330/01/CONS) provides for a 50% reduction of the subscription amount for the voice offer (9.44 euros/month VAT included) and a total of 30 minutes of free calls per month to national landlines and mobile phones. Once the free minutes limit has been exceeded, national calls to landlines and mobile phones are charged at the expected by usage prices for the voice offer (10 cents/min including VAT, without a connection fee).

(3) Customers holding social cards, in compliance with the Ministry of the Economy and Finance Decree of 16 September 2008.

(4) Indicator of the Equivalent Economic Situation.

(5) General Telephone Network.

(6) Customers holding social cards, in compliance with the Ministry of the Economy and Finance Decree of 16 September 2008.

THE NET: EVOLUTION AND FUTURE

Our commitment to constantly increasing the rate of expansion of ultrabroadband technology in Italy continues. We reached more than 99% of the population in 2019 with the LTE mobile network. We want to reach 81% of Italian homes in 2021 with the new-generation fibre optic NGAN (Next Access Generation Network) network using FTTC technology and 22% with FTTH technology, in order to approach the European targets.

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