TIM to launch 5G in San Marino in 2018

Jason McGee-Abe
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TIM and the government of the Republic of San Marino sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to create a 5G mobile network in the country by the end of 2018

Andrea Zafferani, Secretary of State; Giovanni Ferigo, TIM head of technology; Stefano Ciurli , TIM head of wholesale; and Cesare Pisani, CEO of TIM San Marino

The San Marino 5G project has today started the operational phase and TIM says that by the end of this year work will start to increase the power of the infrastructure and the first small cells will be installed in the principal streets and piazzas of San Marino’s historical centre.

“San Marino will become the first State in Europe – and one of the first in the world – to have a 5G mobile network,” said a joint statement.

“We are extremely satisfied and happy that TIM has chosen the Republic of San Marino as the first country in the world to test an innovative technology like 5G, linked to the mobile network,” said Andrea Zafferani, Secretary of State at the department of Industry with responsibility for Telecommunications.

“A sharing of intent and strategic choices that over the years has led to the creation of major infrastructure, as well as to the added value provided by the presence of San Marino-registered companies working in the area which can only strengthen and enhance the presence of the TIM Group in the Republic. The services and applications that will result from the introduction of 5G can only bring benefit, in the immediate future, to the manufacturing world and the community of San Marino.”

TIM, through its TIM San Marino subsidiary, is set to upgrade the mobile sites of its network in the Republic of San Marino with 4.5G, introducing some of the features of 5G, such as evolved mast towers (MIMO4x4), carrier aggregation, superior modulation, and cloud architecture, as well as introducing small cells, small, low power masts with low environmental impact.

The technology plan includes doubling the number of existing mobile sites and installing several dozen small cells, linked by optic fibre and distributed throughout the whole of the territory of San Marino. The particular geographical shape of this territory, and the distribution of its industries favour the use and development of innovative technologies. 


After this it will be possible to start the first testing of 5G technology on a national scale within the next year, introducing on both the mobile sites and the small cells the additional frequencies dedicated to the new 5G radio interface (new radio) that enable much broader bandwidths to be used and which, combined with even more innovative masts (Massive MIMO and beamforming) will allow the system to reach performance levels that the current mobile technologies could never have reached, with the aim of boosting the creation of a new generation mobile network, confirming the TIM Group's commitment to mobile innovation, a role it also plays on the world stage, contributing to the definition of the 5G standard.

The new mobile infrastructure will have considerable more transmission capacity - around 10 times that of 4G - and able to connect a very large number of objects, well ahead of the 2020 European Union deadline.  

Giovanni Ferigo, head of technology at TIM, added: “The signing of this agreement demonstrates TIM's capacity to be a leader in innovation processes. We are among the first in the world to invest in the development of new ultra-broadband networks: they are the future, fast connections and the development of the city. 

“When we talk about big data, digital identity and the Internet of Things, we are aware that underlying all this there is always the quality and speed of the networks. TIM has the privilege of being the leading company for the development of our digital culture, and, today, this agreement adds another major building block to our strategy, allowing us to create the First 5G State in the World, projecting the Republic of San Marino into the future ahead of countries such as Japan and South Korea, which have always led the way in technological innovation."

TIM has recently been in the news for a variety of reasons. Earlier this month, Telecom Italia denied the country’s Antitrust Authority’s claims that it may have abused its market position in the deployment of broadband across rural Italy. This came after Vivendi launched an appeal in June against a ruling from Agcom in April which found it had breached regulations on ownership, stating that it couldn’t maintain large stakes in both Telecom Italia and broadcasting firm Mediaset.