The vendor also recently opened a 5G innovation and research center in the city of L’Aquila.

Chinese vendor ZTE has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Rome City Council to take part in the forthcoming trials of 5G and future Wi-Fi technologies. Through its Italian subsidiary, ZTE said it had signed on to the “Roma5G” project and committed to building the network infrastructure needed for the development of new digital and smart city-focused services in areas such as tourism, mobility and video surveillance.

ZTE Italy has recently inaugurated a 5G innovation and research centre in the city of L’Aquila. The new 5G center if part of a commitment to invest 500 million ($ 617 million) in the country over the next 5 years.

The 1,000 square-meter 5G center will see Italian and Chinese experts working closely with the city’s university as well as local businesses and startups. The vendor will also partner with Rome’s Tor Vergata university to convert the hub into a training centre for future telecommunications engineers.

In December 2017, ZTE announced it will invest 500 million euros in the European country over the next 5 years.

Over the last year, the Italian subsidiary of ZTE has grown from 30 to 600 employees mainly thanks to a contract to build and upgrade the mobile network of Italian operator Wind Tre. In June last year, the Chinese firm had selected Italy as its European hub for the development of 5G wireless technology.

At that time, ZTE announced its intends to open 13 new research and development centres in Italy.

Earlier this week, ZTE has released what it claims to be the world’s first end-to-end 5G network slicing solution. ZTE highlighted solution is the key to the 5G network as it allows the resource of a physical network to be flexibly allocated into multiple virtualized network slices in order to adapt to the needs of different industrial services, such as industrial control, automatic driving, intelligent power grid and remote medical treatment.

ZTE expects to see revenues from the sale of standardized 5G equipment in 2019, the company’s managing director for 5G solutions, Alex Wang, previously told reporters during a press conference on the sidelines of an industry event in Japan last year.

The executive said the company expects to see higher revenues from the sale of 5G-related equipment from 2020 onwards, noting this will depend on the mobile operators’ roadmaps for the commercial launch of 5G services.

The Chinese vendor has already signed strategic partnerships on research and development with mobile operators including Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, SoftBank, KT Group, China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom.

Founded in 1985, ZTE operates across 140 countries and employs over 30,000 researchers in 18 R&D centers.

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