The Italian government has authorized operators to carry out 5G trials in five cities.
Italian telecommunications operator Fastweb has signed an agreement with the Rome city council to begin trials of 5G and future Wi-Fi technologies in 2018.
The primary aim of the agreement is to build an IoT and smart city-focused network in parts of Rome by 2020. Under the terms of the deal, Fastweb will develop a platform to support services and applications in the areas of intelligent mobility, remote sensing, industry 4.0, tourism and video surveillance.
Rome’s mayor Virginia Raggi highlighted that the field trial would involve approximately 3,000 users and would help the capital join the five cities already selected by Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development (MISE) for pre-commercial trials of next generation networks. “The MISE has kept us out…but we are forging ahead alone,” she said. In August the ministry allowed local telcos Vodafone Italia, Wind Tre, TIM, Fastweb and Open Fiber to conduct trials in Milan, Prato, L’Aquila, Bari and Matera.
The government said the spectrum in the 3.4 GHz to 3.8 GHz bands would be made available for these trials.
The European Union has called on member states to identify at least one city for testing by 2018, with a network in place by 2020.
Earlier this year, Telecom Italia signed a deal with the Municipality of Turin for the deployment of pre-standard technologies in the city. The telco said Turin will become the first Italian city and one of the first in Europe to have a next-generation mobile network.
Qualcomm expects first 5G phones to be commercially available in 2019
In related 5G news, Qualcomm’s CEO Steven Mollenkopf said that the first 5G phones will be available for the mass market in 2019, a year ahead of most predictions.
The executive said the initial 5G phones will be available in the United States, Japan and South Korea.
The Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, in February 2018 are expected to be the first widespread public showcase for 5G services. Korean operators such as KT are already conducting field trials of 5G ahead of the event. – RCR Wireless