The three partners have showcased several use cases as part of a 5G initiative

Italian operator TIM and Fastweb, in partnership with Chinese vendor Huawei, have activated what they claim is the first commercial 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 a, smart health, smart port, AR/VR, smart culture and tourism, smart roads and smart agriculture.

“5G will be the most important enabling factor for many innovative services that can revolutionize the lives of citizens and businesses, effectively implementing the gigabit social paradigm,” said Mario di Mauro, Strategy and Innovation & Customer Experience Officer at TIM. “The new use cases launched with the Bari Matera 5G project are part of a large portfolio for innovative solutions that Telecom Italia is developing to accelerate the digitization of the country.” Andrea Lasagna, Fastweb’s CTO, said.

“The potential of 5G is endless and able to deeply transform our way of life. The lighting of the first 3GPP 5G base station in Bari marks a new important milestone in the path of innovation of the Bari Matera 5G project,” Lasagna added.

Huawei has provided a series of end-to-end 5G commercial devices to help construct core networks and access networks, as well as customer premise equipment.

“Research, investments in the territory, and collaboration with the partner ecosystem are at the base of the Huawei philosophy and can be seen in the use cases presented at the Fiera del Levante, one of the most significant achievements in Italy,” said Luigi De Vecchis, President of Huawei Italia. “We believe that this marks a significant step for the creation of digital services and a unique opportunity for development not only for Puglia but for the whole of Italy.”

In March this year, 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.

TIM and Fastweb intend to cover 75% of the population in the cities of Bari and Matera with 5G by the end of 2018.

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