Working with vendor partner Ericsson, Telecom Italia announced Tuesday that it has put the final touches on the deployment of an LTE Advanced (LTE-A) virtual radio access network (vRAN) in the city of Turin.
With the Turin deployment, Telecom Italia (TIM) laid claim to having the largest vRAN LTE deployment in a major city. Working with Ericsson, TIM said it had deployed a cloud-based NFV infrastructure and virtualized 40 network functions. Some of the virtualized network functions include optimization of mobile traffic and VoLTE management. TIM said it's now able to offer its customers VoLTE and faster broadband services across the new network.
In February, TIM and Ericsson announced they would digitalize TIM's nationwide radio access network in Italy starting in Turin. TIM and Ericsson have been building self organizing network (SON) services to increase automation, lower costs, improve customer experiences and reduce the number of servers for VoLTE services.
The Turin deployment is part of TIM's overall digital transformation project, which is called DigiTIM. In Turin, the project will also include a unified network database and virtualization processes ahead of the launch of 5G services that will enable machine-to-machine learning across segments such as connected cars and public utilities.
In April, Ericsson announced it was virtualizing Italy-based Wind Tre's core network en route to evolving to a 5G core. In June, Ericsson announced a deal with Telefónica to offer customers network slicing on private networks via the telco's UNICA cloud platform.
In its second-quarter earnings report last month, Ericsson recorded an operations profit of $22.6 million, which marked its first profitable quarter since the third quarter of 2016. Ericsson's primary competitors in the 5G-space include Nokia and Huawei.