#Roma5G: Roma Capitale, Fastweb and Ericsson switch on the first fifth-generation mobile network signal in Rome

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Press release 22/02/2018
Tourism, security and urban mobility first areas of experimentation of the 5G platform in the capital

The #Roma5G project goes live: Roma Capitale, Fastweb and Ericsson have switched on the first 5G signal in Rome through a virtual reality demo at Fabrizio Giovenale Library, in District IV. A live test allowed the demonstration in the field of the potential of the future fifth generation network, in terms of transmission capacity, significant reduction in latency and directionality of the signal to users on the move.

"The activation of the first 5G signal in our city has been performed just five months from the launch of the #Roma5G project. This is a demonstration of the ongoing commitment of the capital's administration with regard to the development of new technological infrastructure, in the awareness of the fact that said infrastructure constitutes an enabling factor in the attraction of investment to the territory, improving and extending services to citizens, setting them in the context of the territory and offering the potential for local development and renewal of even the peripheral urban areas", stated the Mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi.

"With the #Roma5G project, we intend to attract excellence in the sector to make Rome a national laboratory for innovation in which to experiment with innovative solutions that can succeed in improving the city's way of life, with the involvement of a variety of players, including, for example, municipally-owned companies, industry, citizens, developers and research centres", commented councillor for Roma Semplice Flavia Marzano.

During the press conference held at Bilblioteca Giovenale, the live operation of certain applications linked to virtual reality were shown live, with the broadcasting of a high-quality video and enjoyment through special visors of an immersive video of the city of Rome created with the 360-degree filming technique.

At the same time, the path of innovation, the areas identified for the testing of the 5G mobile network and the application scenarios that may be developed already starting from the second half of 2018 were illustrated, based on the availability and authorisations necessary from all of the parties involved.

The first area will be relating to the appreciation of the cultural and artistic heritage of the Capital supporting tourism: archaeological sites or museum environments will be identified in which to enhance the experience of the visitor through virtual reality and augmented reality applications, which in some cases, will allow the reconstruction of places that are no longer accessible or existing. The second area of experimentation will relate to the development of new generation services linked to security with innovative very high-definition remote surveillance solutions. The third area identified is the one relating to urban mobility with the development of applications for both automatic trip tracking services for new charging models and traveller information on public transport and for real-time telemetry of on-board diagnostics and predictive analysis of breakdowns.

As emerged from the recent Ericsson report, "Merged Reality", tourism and mobility are  among the areas which, according to 6 Italian consumers out of 10, will be profoundly changed by the merge of Virtual Reality with Augmented Reality in our everyday life: 21% of the Italian people interviewed believe that it will be possible to explore destinations through maps that integrate information accessible in Augmented Reality and 25% believe that it will be possible to travel virtually together with other people. But for that to happen, the response times of the mobile telecommunications networks must be improved and in that, 5G can play an important role.

"We are proud to partner with Roma Capitale and Ericsson in a project to discover new connectivity horizons. Thanks to the widespread fibre-optic infrastructure and the frequencies that Fastweb is providing for testing, we are creating the conditions to accelerate the development of 5G and write a story of innovation and technological development in the capital", stated Andrea Lasagna, Technology Officer at Fastweb.

"The Roma5G project marks a new milestone along the path that currently has Ericsson at the helm of numerous initiatives in Italy and around the world to allow the evolution of the current mobile networks towards 5G and contributing to the faster digitalisation of our country. Through sound and important partnerships, like the one with Fastweb, and substantial investments in R&D, we will succeed in coming together to create a technological platform that will lead Rome, among the first cities in Europe, to equip itself with a fifth-generation mobile infrastructure", concluded Riccardo Mascolo, Head of Strategy and Business Development, Ericsson Italy.