Ericsson and TIM have successfully deployed a virtual Radio Access Network (vRAN) platform in a live advanced LTE network in Turin, securing the Italian communications service provider for 5G early adoption.
The deployment of vRAN in a live advanced LTE network is the first of its kind for a city as large as Turin and is part of an ongoing transformation set to digitalize TIM’s radio access network nationwide.
The vRAN technology, developed by both companies, will support the evolution of the network into a flexible cloud platform that enables the management of innovative services and automation while reducing associated costs and offering 5G-ready applications and services to Turin’s customers and businesses.
The partnership has included close collaboration on Self Organizing Network (SON) solutions, which allows customers to use VoLTE (Voice over LTE) services and high quality ultra-broadband data services. It also boosts TIM’s current digital transformation project, DigiTIM, which aims to provide superior customer experience and increase operational efficiency through virtualization and the automation of network systems.
Elisabetta Romano, Chief Technology Officer at TIM, says: “TIM confirms its leadership in the country's digital evolution with the first virtualized Radio Access Network in Turin with Ericsson. It is a world record that will allow us once again to grasp all the business opportunities that 5G, Distributed Cloud and the Internet of Things will facilitate. In this transformation process we are working to realize new network functions, and we are ready to face other challenges to reach new segments of the market with timeliness and efficiency.”
Federico Rigoni, Head of Ericsson Italy, says: “In our journey with TIM, our partner for the realization of cutting-edge solutions, we are committed to being at the forefront of maximizing the efficiency and flexibility of virtual solutions that will lead to the automation of our Radio and Core Network functions in one of the largest networks in Europe. Our partnership on vRAN, where TIM is a global pioneer, demonstrates that the evolution towards 5G has already begun, as seen by the successful deployment in Turin. We are working closely with TIM to transform this first experience into a nationwide deployment.”
TIM and Ericsson’s partnership has previously included the implementation of Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVi) and the optimization of mobile data traffic (Policy Manager Mobile Broadband). Further projects are planned, including a unified network Data Base – Unified Data Management – with components that will enable the delivery of the first 5G services and new machine-to-machine services. These new projects will aim to provide greater efficiency, speed and quality in the management and implementation of new services.