Italian mobile operator TIM has pushed the limits of 5G in its Turin laboratory, achieving speeds of 3Gb/s and latency of 2.6 milliseconds -- ten times lower latency than in the most advanced LTE technology, it says -- on the 3.6-3.8 GHz spectrum frequencies.
Telecom Italia (TIM) reached this milestone in partnership with fixed operator Fastweb SpA (Milan: FWB) and vendor Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd , its partners for the 5G Italian Project Bari Matera, on spectrum provided by the Ministry of Economic Development (MISE). The group says this is the first data connection made using the 3.6-3.8 GHz frequencies, as well as a record in speed and latency.
The tests were run in Turin labs on an end-to-end 5G set up, including a new terminal, Radio access and Core Network. The group says that the net throughput of over 3Gb/s was achieved on only 100 MHz of bandwidth used, results in line with the latest version of the New Radio (5G NR) 3GPP standard that was approved last December. (See Get Ready for 5G 'Phase II'.)
Using spectrum this efficiently -- seven times more efficient than LTE -- means a drastically reduced cost per bit, an important consideration as operators look to recoup the costs of their 5G network buildouts. (See 2018 Transitional for 5G Infra Spending – Report.)
The milestone, an important step for 5G in Europe, comes a few weeks before TIM plans to turn on its first 5G cell sites in Turin. The trio of TIM, Fastweb and Huawei plan to deploy pre-standards 5G in the 3.7GHz band in Bari and Matera in Southern Italy with the goal of covering 75% of the regions by the end of 2019 and 100% by 2020. The announcement also comes shortly before Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where there are sure to be many more 5G announcements, progress reports and proclamations. (See Turin to Be Italy's First 5G City, Says TIM.)
— Sarah Thomas, Contributing Editor, Telco Transformation