The 5G trial will be carried out by Italian telco Fastweb and Chinese vendor Huawei
Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development (MISE) has approved the use of 5G frequencies in network trials to be conducted in the city of Cagliari after reaching an agreement with local operator Fastweb.
With this approval, Cagliari will become the sixth Italian city where telcos have already launched 5G trials. Cities where experimental 5G tests have already started include Milan, Prato, L’Aquila, Bari and Matera.
The 5G trial is part of the Joint Innovation Centre (JIC) project developed by Huawei, the Sardinian regional government and local advanced studies institute CRS4 to develop information and communications technology solutions and services in the areas of health, transport, waste management, logistics, security and Industry 4.0 with the involvement of the municipality of Cagliari, local institutions, universities and small-to-medium enterprises.
Fastweb was also involved in a 5G trial announced last September, in which the company, together with Huawei and Italian carrier TIM, activated a 5G base station in the city of Bari, the second city in the Bari Matera 5G project being supported by the Italian government. TIM, Fastweb and Huawei used this opportunity to jointly demonstrate a total of ten 5G use cases at Fiera del Levante in Bari. These use cases focused on smart city and transportation, environment, smart health, smart port, augmented/virtual reality, smart culture and tourism, smart roads and smart agriculture.
In March , the three partners activated the first 5G antenna in the city of Matera as part of the Bari Matera 5G trial. The project enables the two Italian cities to be among the first areas in the world to be covered by 5G.
Thanks to an investment of over 60 million euros ($69.4 million) within the next four years, Bari and Matera will be among the first “5G cities” in Europe where innovative services will be tested. TIM has said that the testing of the 5G network in these two cities will involve over 70 use cases.
In October 2018, Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development announced the completion of the national 5G spectrum tender, in which the government raised a total of EUR 6.55 billion ($7.56 billion), more than EUR 4 billion over the minimum reserve price of EUR 2.5 billion.
In the process, local carriers Telecom Italia, Wind Tre, Vodafone Italia, Fastweb and Iliad secured spectrum in the 694-790 MHz, 26.5-27.5 GHz and 3.6-3.8 GHz bands.
TIM paid EUR 2.4 billion for 80 megahertz in the 3.7 GHz band MHz, 200 megahertz in the 26 GHz band and 20 megahertz in 700 MHz band.
Rival operator Vodafone Italia also paid EUR 2.4 billion for a similar amount of spectrum in the same frequency bands.
5G licenses are valid for 19 years, with the exception of the licenses in the 700 MHz band, which will not be released until 2022 and will be valid for 15 and a half years.