Italy's first 5G antenna have been activated by TIM and Huawei in the southern city of Matera.
The 'BariMatera5G' project, which has been commissioned by the country's Ministry of Economic Development, will see Matera and nearby Bari be among the first areas in the world to adopt the technology.
Implemented through the use of 3.7-3.8 GHz frequency bands, the connection represents the first installation of the project’s network development plan, which expects to achieve 75% coverage of the two cities’ testing area by 2018.
A variety of applications will be tested on the network, covering areas such as smart city, Industry 4.0 and virtual reality, while IoT solutions and digital automation technologies will help to create one of Italy's first Industry 4.0 ports in Bari.
Last month, Hamburg Port Authority announced that it has joined forces with Deutsche Telekom and Nokia to test 5G applications at the Port of Hamburg.
Investment in 'BariMatera5G' over the next four years is expected to total €60mn and on top of the involvement of TIM, Huawei and broadband provider Fastweb, the project encompasses 52 partners of excellence, including seven university and research centres, 34 large businesses and 11 public administrations.
Swedish telco Ericsson, in its latest Mobility Report at the end of last year, projected that a fifth of the world's population will be hooked into 5G networks by 2023.