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TIM debuts “intelligent” LTE network in Italy

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TIM has launched an "intelligent" 4G network based on cloud RAN and offering widespread LTE-Advanced coverage and higher upload and download speeds.

The Italian operator chose Palmero as the first location for the network and teamed up with Huawei on the project. It said the vendor's cloud RAN solution would help it to shift towards 5G, by improving both the quality and efficiency of its network.

Huawei's technology had been trialled at the TIMLab in Turin before a test run of the technology in Palermo.

Users of the network with compatible handsets can benefit from download speeds of up to 300MBps. TIM said cloud RAN would help it respond to increasing social network and multimedia consumption.

Gabriela Styf Sjoman, Head of TIM’s Engineering & TIMLab, said: "This innovative technology is part of TIM’s path towards becoming a Digital Telco, securing to its clients a high quality user experience on digital  new network technologies – such as cloud RAN – to guarantee customer satisfaction and create value through network solution that are both technologically innovative and efficient.”

TIM has been working with Ericsson on its 5G for Italy strategy. Speaking to Mobile Europe last month, the operator's Strategy and Innovation Chief said 5G would be determined by market demand, rather than the telecoms industry ruling what the technology will be.

Last month, Telefónica announced two cloud RAN projects, with the first a partnership with Huawei exploring the technology amid a wider push towards 5G networks.

The two companies are planning to work on spectrum efficiency and massive MIMO to determine the best ways of building networks with ultra high throughput and low levels of latency.