Italian operator TIM is set to upgrade mobile networks in San Marino to 5G starting later this year
San Marino, most famous for its heavy defeats in football and appearances at the Eurovision Song Contest, is set to acquire a new claim to fame – the first 5G state in Europe.
The country as agreed a deal with TIM to become a testbed for the next generation of mobile networks, allowing the Italian operator to refine its 5G blueprint and for the government to gain access to new applications that will benefit its economy and society.
Work on upgrading network architecture to 4.5G will introduce some 5G technologies, such as carrier aggregation, 4×4 MIMO and cloud architecture will start at the end of this year and small cells will be installed in piazzas and streets shortly after.
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San Marino 5G
The number of mobile masts will also be doubled to increase network density across the 61 square km microstate, which is completely surrounded by Itakly.
The government will work with universities, hospitals, industry and local transport networks on smart city applications and other initiatives such as virtual reality (VR) software to boost tourism.
Tourism and banking are the nation’s two major sources of income.
“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,” said Andrea Zafferani, Secretary of State at the department of Industry.
“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.”
“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,” added Giovanni Ferigo, head of technology at TIM.
It is expected that the first commercial 5G networks will go live in 2020 and although there is some debate as to how the final standard will turn out, it is widely expected they will offer significant upgrades on speed, capacity and latency.