Telecom Italia (TIM) has activated its commercial 5G network in parts of Turin and Rome, the telco said on its website.
With this launch, TIM has become the second telco to launch commercial 5G services, after rival Vodafone launched 5G offerings earlier this month.
“The 5G service, currently being implemented, is at the moment only available in some parts of Turin and Rome,” TIM said on its website, adding that the country’s main cities will be gradually added to TIM’s 5G network in the coming months.
TIM said that Turin will have full 5G coverage next year. The telco aims to offer a number of 5G-based services in the city, including smart city, public safety, connected transport as well as digital tourism and culture services.
TIM also said that 5G offices will be offered through spectrum in the 700 MHz, 3.6-3.8 GHz and 26.5-27.5 GHz bands.
The new 5G plans are dubbed TIM Advance 4.5G, 5G and 5G Top. The three options include the possibility to buy the Samsun Galaxy S10 5G or Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G smartphones in monthly installments, with the Oppo Reno 5G to follow shortly, TIM said.
The Italian carrier said that the three 5G plans enable subscribers to view ultra-HD 4K videos and come with priority access to the network, guaranteeing maximum performance while on the move and in the event of network congestion, the telco said.
TIM has been working with Swedish vendor Ericsson on a number of 5G trials and test in the country. In November last year, TIM and Samsung Electronics signed a strategic collaboration agreement for the joint launch of TIM’s 5G services in Italy. The two companies said they intend to use every technical and commercial tool available to them to commercialize 5G during 2019.
Under the terms of that agreement, Samsung is providing all the technical support needed during the product development and certification phase and will develop, together with TIM, a communication plan for the joint launch of the 5G service.
On June 16, rival operator Vodafone Italy announced the launch of commercial 5G services in five cities across the country. Vodafone said that the initial phase of commercial 5G services include the cities of Milan, Turin, Bologna, Rome and Naples. The company used equipment from Nokia and Huawei for the deployment of commercial 5G. The telco, part of U.K. telecommunications company Vodafone Group, said it expects to add around 45 to 50 cities to 5G coverage next year. Aldo Bisio, Vodafone Italy’s CEO said that the telco’s 5G technology will reach more than 100 Italian cities by 2021.
Bisio also said that despite being the first telco to launch commercial 5G in the country, fierce competition from rival telcos TIM and Fastweb is expected in the coming months.
With the launch of 5G, Vodafone is offering a number of 5G smartphones including the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G, LG V50 ThinQ 5G and Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.