SÃO PAULO–TIM Brazil, a subsidiary of Telecom Italia, is engaging with startups to speed up the adoption of internet of things solutions. The carrier will have a startup internally and will create a co-working space to invite external startups to team up. In a video interview with RCR Wireless News, Luis Minoru Shibata, chief strategy officer at TIM Brasil, said the carrier is looking to develop IoT solutions in four areas: health, agribusiness, smart cities and transportation.

Minoru said, while the role of carriers remains to provide connectivity, telcos will partner with different companies to address the needs of specific sectors. “Connectivity is our DNA, but it’s not enough and this is why we are accelerating our learning curve, using our big data and, together with developers, learning how we can aggregate intelligence,” he noted.

Minoru also commented on the role of 5G and how IoT is being developed already using 2G-based, machine-to-machine connections.

During his speech, TIM CEO Stefano de Angelis said telecom operators must evolve their business models to become more digital, essentially providing a smart pipe, in order to support digital services.

The journey to 5G

As to evolving networks to become ready for the 5G, Leonardo Capdeville, CTO at TIM, explained the carrier is preparing its networks, but he highlighted there are challenges to be faced before moving to the next generation, such as antenna deployment and spectrum definition.

The carrier is focusing on expanding coverage of LTE in the 700 MHz frequency band of and evolving 4G to achieve 1,000 cities covered by the end of the year. In the video interview, Capdeville also explained how TIM is expanding  voice-over-LTE in the cities and to pre-paid customers.

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