Italian telecommunications company TIM has said it is set to introduce 5G technology at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico and Udine’s Dacia Arena through a partnership with US in-building and outdoor mobile wireless systems firm, JMA Wireless.

The Olimpico (pictured) serves as the home of Serie A football clubs Lazio and Roma, as well as the Italian national football and rugby union teams, while the Dacia Arena hosts Serie A team Udinese. TIM said that in response to the growing demand for greater connectivity and to guarantee an ever-increasing digital experience for its customers, 4.5G capacity has been introduced in the two stadia using JMA’s XRAN virtualised RAN platform.

The virtualised mobile network solution, fully operational and integrated into the TIM live network, is said to be an important evolution of the 4.5G network in the two venues. It has doubled mobile connectivity performance and, at the same time, guaranteed a reduction of operating costs through a smaller footprint, lower consumption, and greater simplicity of installation compared to traditional equipment.

TIM said that through the virtualisation of the access network it is reiterating its commitment to an evolution towards 5G by ensuring efficiency and flexibility as it provides new digital services.

Domenico Angelicone, TIM’s head of access network technology, said: “This is another important milestone in the process of transforming our evolution toward 5G through virtualised software solutions. The ability to manage and reduce complexity improves customer value and network quality in an economically efficient way, paving the way for the new 5G digital services, such as immersive and virtual reality services.”

Andrea Casini, senior vice-president of international business and technology at JMA Wireless, added: “These are the first two large stadium networks transformed by XRAN and integrated into the TIM live network, further demonstrating that XRAN software technology is ready for expansion and offers huge benefits to network operators, in terms of operational saving, and to their customers, in terms of improving the quality they enjoy.”

TIM’s announcement marks the latest significant development concerning 5G technology at sports venues. Spanish LaLiga club Barcelona yesterday (Tuesday) announced details of an innovative project that it claims will position Camp Nou as the first football stadium in Europe to have dedicated standard 5G coverage.