TIM, Fastweb, Huawei unveil 5G VR, AR services


TIM and Fastweb have shown off their first 5G-based virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR) services, as part of Italy's ambitious plan to lead Europe in the rollout of next-generation mobile technology.

Two demonstrations were held at live 5G testbeds in Bari and Matera respectively. The first saw VR being used to offer remote visits to Matera's main tourist attractions. The second used an AR helmet to provide remote assistance to ship engineers, including a 3D overlay of the inner workings of a ship's engine, thereby improving the effectiveness of maintenance and staff training.

The showcase, presented in concert with Huawei, comes as Italy seeks to drive the rollout of 5G to 75 percent of the populations of Bari and Matera by the end of this year, with a view to reaching 100 percent by 2019.

Saverio Orlando, TIM Technology Manager, said: "The new low latency and high speed mobile technology, supported by the fibre optic network, allows us to create an innovative ecosystem that involves all industrial and service processes, with a particular focus on the development of new services related to tourism and Industry 4.0, as well as public safety and transport, thus creating digital value for the cities involved and for the entire country."

Andrea Lasagna, Fastweb's Technology Officer, said: "With the launch of this new phase of the project, today we present the first experiences, and with these we lay the foundations for the development of completely new scenarios that will profoundly transform industry, tourism and all sectors in which 5G solutions can be applied."

The demonstration took place just days after TIM showed off a live 5G mobile test device in San Marino.