Earlier this month, the Italian telco and Nokia activated the first 5G site in San Marino

Italian telecom group TIM and Robopac have signed an agreement to develop the first 5G smart factory in San Marino, a 24-square-mile micro-state surrounded by Italy.

Robopac is a specialist in stretch film wrapping technology, producing over 10,000 machines a year, 90% of which are exported.

The main aim of the partnership is to analyze and evaluate the potential of 5G networks by identifying use cases related to the development of innovative services and solutions for Industry 4.0.

TIM highlighted that the smart factory concept is expected to be one of the main drivers of 5G. The telco said that the availability of advanced sensors and the development of internet of things (IoT) platforms, together with cloud-based solutions and big data analysis, will ensure greater efficiency of production processes.

The Italian operator added that real-time communication between people, robots, production processes and systems can maximize activities and make industrial activity more efficient and profitable.

“With the introduction of 5G mobile networks, this new industrial revolution will take even better shape, radically transforming production activities. Our objective is to guide companies through this transformation process, demonstrating how industrial and digital production plants can leverage the potential of 5G,” said Cesare Pisani, CEO at TIM San Marino.

“Thanks to TIM, we can optimize the production process, identifying the new horizons we can reach with 5G technology. The simultaneous use of sophisticated sensors and high capacity communication networks, like 4G and 5G, and the transfer of data to cloud systems for constant monitoring, will represent a new ecosystem with which to review the whole production chain,” said Enrico Aureli, CEO, Robopac.

Earlier this month, TIM and infrastructure vendor Nokia activated the first 3GPP Release 15-compliant network site in San Marino.

Right now, the network is using the 3.5 GHz band. TIM is currently testing 26 GHz transmission at a facility in Turin and plans to work with Nokia to activate the millimeter wave frequencies in San Marino starting later this month.

According to the telco, San Marino is an “outdoor laboratory” to explore how 5G services could be applied to Industry 4.0, public safety, smart city and digital tourism.

In May, TIM worked with Qualcomm, using the chipmaker’s X50 modem, to test millimeter wave services. At the time, San Marino’s Secretary of State for Industry Andrea Zafferani said 5G “will bring economic and social benefits to the whole community…and will put the Republic of San Marino in a unique position among European states in terms of both technological innovation and the efficiency and quality of services offered to tourists and citizens.”

In March, TIM, together with Italian broadband provider Fastweb and vendor Huawei, announced the activation of the first 5G antenna in the city of Matera as part of a 5G trial being promoted by the Italian government.

The BariMatera5G project will allow the Italian cities of Bari and Matera to be among the first areas in the world to be covered by the new generation of mobile technology.

The 5G data connection, implemented through the use of 3.7-3.8 GHz frequency bands made available by the Ministry of Economic Development, represents the first installation of the project’s network development plan.

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