TIM opens 5G innovation hub in Rome, holds latest first

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TIM has opened its first 5G Innovation Hub to coincide with holding what it claimed was Europe's first 5G NR video call on mmWave.

The Rome-based hub will act as host to enterprises, start-ups, R&D companies and other interested parties keen on developing new 5G solutions.

The formal opening featured Nokia demonstrated an unspecified number of 5G use cases, and Samsung, LG, Sony, Xiaomi and ZTE showing off their prototype handsets.

The video call used a prototype device using a Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem and Ericsson infrastructure.

Other 5G use cases were demonstrated, such as remotely driven cars, virtual reality-enabled tours of museums and artworks, industrial automation and augmented reality gaming.

The remote driving station was set up at the Innovation Hub in Rome and controlled a vehicle at the operator's Open Air Lab in Turin some 700 kilometres away.

The control platform collected data and video from a range of sensors, cameras and radars, which were transmitted over a 5G network.

Mario Di Mauro, Chief Strategy, Innovation & Customer Experience Officer at TIM said: "When we started to define the strategy and the development plans for 5G, we immediately realized that such a massive challenge could not be faced without the support of a wide range of partners committed to the same goal.

"We therefore proposed Qualcomm Technologies set up a place where work on the new 5G services and every business idea could find a quick realisation thanks to the support of leading international technology players, innovative partners and start-ups from the local and national ecosystem."

Last month TIM made its first 5G connection on its live network, again using a prototype device boasting a Qualcomm chipset.