TIM and Ericsson continue their commitment to virtualisation and automation of the network with the aim of offering increasingly innovative 5G applications and services to all consumer and business customers, using fewer servers and less electricity.
The collaboration between the two companies has made it possible to successfully complete and implement the virtual Radio Access Network (vRAN) LTE Advanced platform – a world first in a city as large as Turin. Thanks to the high flexibility of management and automation with ‘Self Organizing Network’ solutions, it allows customers to use VoLTE voice services and ultrabroadband data services with high quality levels.
This is an important step towards the digital transformation of DigiTIM which, among the objectives, has the excellent customer experience and the optimisation of the operational efficiency of the network systems.
To date, TIM has a virtualised network infrastructure, the Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure, with over 40 living functions. Many of those have been developed by TIM and Ericsson together, such as the optimisation of mobile data traffic (Policy Manager Mobile Broadband), to offer medium-sized and large businesses customised mobile phone solutions, with private numbering plans and dedicated rules for making calls (Mobile Intelligent Network), switching solutions able to manage data and voice connections (VoLTE for mobile and VoIP network customers and for fixed network customers).
Beyond these activities, there will be the evolution programme of a unified network database – unified data management – with components in the virtualisation process that will enable the delivery of the first 5G services and new machine-to-machine services addressing market segments ranging from public utilities to automotive. Further projects are planned to allow greater efficiency, speed and quality in the management and implementation of new services.
Elisabetta Romano, Chief Technology Officer at TIM, said: “TIM confirms its leadership in the country’s digital evolution with the first virtualised radio access network in Turin with Ericsson. It is a world record that will allow us once again to grasp in advance all the business opportunities that 5G, distributed cloud and the Internet of Things will further facilitate. In this transformation process we are working to realise 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, said: “In our journey with TIM, our reference partner for the realisation of cutting-edge solutions, we are committed at the forefront in maximising the efficiency and flexibility of virtual solutions and this will lead towards 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 pioneer in the world, demonstrates 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.”