TIM flips on the 5G switch in San Marino

Telecom Italia has confirmed it has switched on 5G in San Marino, claiming to have covered 99% of the population and territory.

While this is certainly something to brag about, we feel we might have to put things in perspective. San Marino has a total land-mass of 23.6 square miles, ranking it 192nd worldwide in terms of size, with a population of roughly 33,000. The population density is roughly 1,300 per square mile, making it the 23rd most densely populated state worldwide. These might be contributing factors to the super-speed 5G deployment…

“Today is an extraordinary day for our country,” said Andrea Zafferani, Sam Marino’s Secretary of State for Telecommunications. “We are the first State in Europe to boast complete 5G coverage of its territory. An important result achieved thanks to the collaboration with the TIM Group and Nokia, who we thank for having believed in our country and having managed to complete this challenge.”

“We want to become a laboratory for companies, universities and research organisations, who will find the ideal environment in San Marino to develop products and services benefiting from next generation mobile networks,” said Marco Podeschi, Secretary of State for Culture.

This is perhaps the most interesting aspect of this news. San Marino is essentially a living lab for Telecom Italia, and for that matter, any other company which wants to experiment with 5G. The small, controlled environment could attract the attentions of various companies wanting to explore new ideas. It could prove to be a notable uptick for the San Marino economy and business landscape on the whole.

Realising the smart city dream will be one of the first projects for TIM and San Marino’s government, though there are ideas pipelined for media, education and virtual reality. The duo have already been playing with some services, such as new broadcasting technologies at the Rally Legend show, while Robopac has been working with the telco on robotics and self-driving cars for the Industry 4.0 promise.

Looking at the specifics, coverage is provided by 3500 MHz and 26 GHz antennas, while all the sites have been equipped with Massive-MIMO technology. Nokia’s end-to-end solution provides for the virtualisation of all the mobile network components, including radio access.

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