Fifth generation mobile networks - known as “5G networks” - are “convergent” networks, in which the traditional difference between fixed and mobile networks tends to blur. These are highly versatile networks that allow extremely high-performance connectivity services to be offered both in the home and for mobile use. Owing to its characteristics, 5G will revolutionise our lives and our way of living in the cities as well as many industries, owing to its infinite applications, which can be developed.
The main characteristic of 5G networks from the point of view of infrastructure is what is known as the “densification” of the radio-mobile antennae. The number of antennae, all entirely connected in optical fibre, will be far higher than that of the traditional networks. Owing to these characteristics, which to some extent make the 5G network similar to a large Wi-Fi network, the level of performance is far superior to that of 3G and 4G and similar to those of fixedline networks.
Downloading all types of files extremely fast, even substantially large files owing to a download speed that can reach 3 Gigabits per second and levels of transmission capacity up to ten times greater than that of the existing 4G networks.
Transmitting information in real time will be easy owing to the reduction of reaction times, which will drop from the current 25-35 milliseconds to just a few milliseconds.
Connecting simultaneously to an extremely high number of objects that will increase from a few thousand, with the existing 4G networks, to a few million devices per square kilometre will become a reality. With 5G, devices will be connected and will be able to interact between themselves, an essential characteristic to drive the development of the “Internet of Things” in the near future.
“Live” experiences for events
Advanced video surveillance
Law enforcement networks
Equipent management and localisation
Real-time city control
Parking and transport services
Loading and unloading operations logistics/automation
Virtual guides and geomuseums
Improve road safety
Assisted driving & Smart logistic
Sensor for environmental monitoring
Environmental risk management
Automation and prevention
Tools and materials management and localisation
Owing to the characteristics described, 5G will be an essential enabler of the “Internet of Things” (IoT): the applications supported will have a major impact on both our daily lives, due to the smart city, domotics, healthcare and public security applications, and on many business sectors, ranging from agriculture to industry 4.0.
Apart from the IoT and mobile applications, 5G networks will potentially also have an explosive effect in the world of fixed telecommunications services. 5G is the natural evolution of Fastweb’s optical fixed networks FTTN (Fibre to the Node), with a widespread presence throughout Italy and will be key to its development.
5G is a technology that allows connectivity to be brought to families without fibre optic “to the home” connections, but leaving the last stretch of connection, i.e. from the street cabinet to homes to 5G coverage, using “Fixed Wireless Access”, obtaining connection speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second. A genuine revolution, which will allow an additional boost in the development of new networks, which can thus be created even more quickly.
Fastweb was the first company in Italy to try out the use of these networks to bring ultra-broadband connectivity with performance entirely comparable to those of FTTH (fibre to the Home) to households and offices.
Therefore, 5G will allow the creation in all the areas not reached by FTTH of an ultra-broadband landline network with very high-level performance but with much lower costs and complexity, given that it will not be necessary to lay optical fibre in the last 200-400 metres between the antennae and the buildings. Users will receive the signal owing to a small receiving antenna, called “small cells” placed on a balcony or near a window.
Fastweb's 5G FWA trials launched in Milan at the beginning of February in association with Samsung has already confirmed exceptional performance network, reaching a navigation speed of 1 Gbps, and thus demonstrating the effectiveness of the FWA 5G networks by comparison to the FTTH networks, in terms of cost and speed of implementation.
In the wake of the encouraging results recorded during the Milan trial, Fastweb announced in may a new plan of infrastructure deployment with the aim of doubling by 2024 the footprint of its existing ultra-broadband network. Fastweb will start deploying, as of this year, a 5G FWA infrastructure thanks to which the families and businesses reached by connectivity up to 1 Gb/s on its proprietary network will go from the existing 8 million, of which 4 with FTTH (Fiber to the Home) e 4 with FTTC (Fiber to the Cabinet), to a total 16 million. Thanks to the 5G FWA expansion plan that will be financed by Fastweb's total investment plan of 3 billion euro over 5 years the percentage of families and business covered by Fastweb proprietary network will go from the existing 30 to 60 percent.
An investment plan that in addition to the fixed infrastructure will also develop a new generation mobile infrastructure. At the end of June 2019, in fact, Fastweb together with Wind Tre announced the launch of a strategic agreement in order to accelerate the roll-out of a nationwide, state-of-the art 5G network leveraging on the operators' respective assets. The shared 5G network that will support the delivery of next-generation, high performing mobile services for Fastweb and Wind Tre customers and will include Wind Tre and Fastweb macro and small cells, connected through dark fiber from Fastweb, to be deployed nationwide, with a targeted coverage of 90% of the population by 2026. Wind Tre will manage the 5G network, while both operators will remain independent in the commercial and operational use of the shared infrastructure.
With 5G, Fastweb is therefore ready to make a strategic change of paradigm making its own networks evolve towards FTTA, i.e. “Fibre to the antenna” to allow the rapid development of a 5G network, starting from the main Italian cities as soon as 2020, with an aim to become the first fixed-mobile convergent operator in Italy.
Select a city to discover the initiatives developed thanks to Fastweb 5G
Fastweb, together with TIM and Huawei is participating in BariMatera5G, the project with which the three companies were jointly awarded the Italian Ministry for Economic Development tender for the trial of new 5G technology in the region’s two main cities. By means of an investment of more than EUR 60 million over 4 years, Bari and Matera will be among the first "5G cities" in Europe, in which innovative services in sectors like healthcare, industry 4.0, tourism, culture, the automotive industry and Public Safety will be tested. The project involves, in addition to the three leading companies, 52 partners of excellence, including 7 universities and research centres, 34 large corporations and 11 public authorities. The 5G network set up in Bari and Matera will allow a transmission capacity ten times greater than that of 4G and the trials will realize 70 use cases, bringing about a radical transformation of the territories involved.
Visit Bari /Matera 5G
Promoted by Fastweb, Ericsson and Roma Capitale, by the end of 2020 the project will bring cutting-edge 5G and wi-fi services to certain areas of the municipal area. Owing the fifth-generation network trial, the first demonstration signal of which was switched on in February, Rome will be one of the first European capitals to have ultra-high-performance mobile connections. In accordance with the memorandum of understanding signed, the first three trial fields are tourism, with digital applications to promote cultural heritage, security, with extremely high definition video surveillance and urban mobility, with automatic tracking applications, new charging models and telemetry of on-board diagnostics and predictive analysis of breakdowns. Since August, the Rome City Council Mobility firm, Atac, has also joined the #ROMA5G project.
Visit Roma 5G
In July, Genoa City Council, Fastweb and Ericsson signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will launch the trial based on 5G technologies and Wi Fi for the development of cutting-edge services designed to profoundly transform the way of experiencing the urban space through digital technology. The project applications that will be implemented over the coming months in the Porto Antico area will be related to Security, with the development of innovative ultra-high-definition video surveillance solutions, Tourism, promoting Genoa?s cultural and artistic heritage with virtual reality, and Smart City solutions, with the creation of applications for environmental monitoring and remote management of lighting systems. Specifically, the first applications in the Security field, which will be implemented in association with Leonardo s.p.a., will enable People Counting, in other words, counting people by detecting those passing through virtual entry points created with the use of video cameras installed near the entrance areas with 5G connections and People Density, i.e. monitoring data regarding density, movement and stopping of people in the area of Piazzale Mandraccio, to check on events in progress in the area.
Sardinia was also chosen by the Italian Ministry for Economic Development to trial the 5G network. Cagliari is the sixth Italian city (together with Milan, Prato, L’Aquila, Bari and Matera) in which the Italian Ministry for Economic Development has granted Fastweb the use of frequencies in three areas of the city, as well as one Is Molas, for the trial linked to the Joint Innovation Centre project developed by CRS4, Huawei and the Sardinia Regional Authority (Regione Sardegna).
Remote home assistance services for monitoring vital signs of patients developed in association with the hospital IRCCS Giovanni Paolo II, Bari. Furthermore, a mobile analysis laboratory has been created, connected in 5G for telediagnosis and sending the data to the hospital in real time.
Monitoring of the state of health of drivers of a transport company. With the use of a t-shirt made of hitoe™, an intelligent Japanese fabric, the vital signs and level of stress of the person wearing it are monitored.
Platform created in association with Isotta Fraschini Motori, which allows the provision of training and remote assistance to employees by means of special visors during the assembly and disassembly of marine engines.
In the cities of Bari and Matera, data originating from sensors installed in various points around the cities are collected and managed using a smart platform.
Automated management of light sources owing to a smart software platform able to reduce consumption, costs and environmental impact and to guarantee optimised maintenance and development of new solutions for sustainability.
Available parking monitoring using occupation sensors, management of market areas, hi-tech solutions for payment based on apps or parking meters, automatic recognition of various user categories.
Smart infrastructures with cutting-edge sensors installed in the municipality of Bari to check air quality, concentration of harmful substances and noise pollution and able to activate targeted measures based on the data collected.
Security and access control in the Bari port area by means of a centralised command platform. Face recognition and recognition of anomalous situations by means of cutting-edge video cameras and artificial intelligence to increase the levels of security in the area and thus further drive tourist and commercial businesses.
Mobile surveillance with wearable devices such as action cams and body cams able to generate video flows from sources on land, at sea or in the air (helicopters and drones) to support the police in critical situations.
Virtual reality application of the rupestrian churches and most important places to visit in Matera, accessible through the use of special visors, to give people the opportunity to experience remote places of great cultural interest through a new tour experience.
Video distribution services for journalists and operators, with live high-definition audio-visual contents, which allow high-quality, reliable, flowing and low-latency live connections.
Infrastructure that allows crops to be monitored thanks to the use of latest-generation sensors through which it is possible to efficiently regulate the use of water and fertilizers.
System for the smart management of urban traffic thanks to the dynamic access to the road lanes and the signaling of the road conditions and of any dangers to drivers.
In December, the first concrete application relating to promoting the cultural and artistic heritage of the capital was shown, in which the Baths of Diocletian were the focus of the trial. The solution implemented allows further enhancement of the visitor experience by means of the virtual reconstruction of the areas that are no longer accessible or that no longer exist in the Baths, using special visors. The solution, based on a faithful 360° reconstruction of the spaces allows virtual visitors to fully immerse themselves in the Baths of Diocletian, just as they appeared in ancient times.
With an aim to create an ecosystem of digital companies and create a new generation of products, services and business models with 5G, in October, Fastweb, in association with Digital Magics, launched Together to 5G, the call for innovation for start-ups and innovative SMEs.
Visita Together to 5G