The testing of the 5G service will start within the next year but before that Telecom Italia wants to update the San Marino network to something it calls 4.5G - this means Gigabit LTE speeds (MIMO4x4), Carrier Aggregation and superior modulation and Cloud architecture.
The infrastructure part of the plan includes doubling the number of existing mobile sites and installing several dozen “small cells”, linked by optic fiber and distributed throughout the whole of San Marino. San Marino is only 61.2 km2 (23.6 sq mi) territory, so it won’t take much.
The 5G testing includes a 5G radio interface (New Radio), a massive bandwidth increase using Massive MIMO and Beamforming. Telecom Italia (TIM) promises speeds around 10 times that of 4G. The full nation-wide 5G trial system is expected to start before the end of 2018. We expect to see more announcements from the EU member countries as at least the big players and its telecoms start the trials during 2019.
The European Union has set 2020 as a date for all the member states to deploy 5G, at least in one city.
TIM will be using very high frequencies also called “millimetric” millimeter waves but we could not find any details about the kind of hardware they plan to use. The 5G NR should be finalised only in late 2018, making it hard to implement the San Marion 5G trials in time.
TIM is possibly using tech from either Qualcomm, Intel or Samsung. San Marino is not the part of the European Union, neither is Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, or the Vatican but work closely with the EU. For people who lack some knowledge in geography, San Marino is landlocked by Italy.
Andrea Zafferani, Secretary of State at the department of Industry with responsibility for Telecommunications said: “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, linked to the mobile network. A decision that confirms and further strengthens the link the TIM Group has with the country. A sharing of intent and strategic choices that over the years has led to the creation of major infrastructure, as well as to the added value provided by the presence of San Marino-registered companies working in the area which can only strengthen and enhance the presence of the TIM Group in the Republic. 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.”
Giovanni Ferigo, Head of Technology at TIM said: “The signing of this agreement demonstrates TIM's capacity to be a leader in innovation processes. We are among the first in the world to invest in the development of new ultrabroadband networks: they are the future, fast connections and the development of the city. When we talk about big data, digital identity and the Internet of Things, we are aware that underlying all this there is always the quality and speed of the networks. TIM has the privilege of being the leading company for the development of our digital culture, and, 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."