TIM is working side by side with the Fondazione Matera Basilicata 2019 on the launch of “Matera 2019 – European Capital of Culture”. The company is providing Matera 2019 with cutting-edge ICT technologies and, as Main Partner, is acting as technological enabler of innovative forms of knowledge and cultural engagement, in keeping with the ethos and mission of this important event.
“TIM is in Matera today to show that innovation is culture, too,” TIM Chairman Fulvio Conti said at the opening ceremony, held in Matera’s ‘Cava del Sole’. “We are especially proud to link our brand with the city of Matera, supporting it at this historic time to help bring out the best of its priceless artistic and cultural history. Thanks to technology, these riches can now escape the bonds of space and be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere. It’s a new way of ‘doing culture’ that can also be emotionally engaging, offering both information and an experience.”
The ‘Immersive Matera’ project falls under this approach and is being developed by TIM in tandem with the Basilicata Region’s Culture and Tourism Office, harnessing the potential of the new 5G network, which is already being rolled out.
Thanks to a dynamic, Cloud-based platform with a built-in system, it has been possible to ‘digitalise’ cultural assets, making them accessible to all. Conti said: “Publishing digital content brings to life places and things that could often only be imagined, giving them a universal dimension. Technology is therefore an amazing enabler of new ways to engage with culture, helping to reinforce Matera’s worldwide reputation as a tourist destination. The idea is that by discovering Matera’s wealth of cultural history ‘virtually’, people will also want to see it in person and plan a trip there.”
The project also aims to inspire cultural and creative start-ups and to help traditional businesses. Furthermore, it is hoped that it will attract widespread use by making available musical content, images, films and trailers of major movies.
Working with local partners in technological innovation and research, TIM has already launched a number of Digital Tourism & Virtual Reality solutions. The “Matera Content Pool” will contain a catalogue of high-quality HD images, videos in HD, 4k and 8k, 3D reconstructions for VR and 360 videos, taking in all aspects of Matera’s cultural history.
The Pool offers an innovative model for engaging with digital content to promote the city of Matera and the whole Basilicata area. Digitalising and indexing cultural assets is essential for integrated and innovative storytelling and virtualisation, which is to be pursued through a number of different lenses: historical-archaeological heritage, geological-environmental heritage, artistic heritage, and demo/ethno/anthropological heritage. The project does not aim to cover everything, but to build specific libraries oriented towards a particular target population, while remaining integrated within a broad cultural and ‘immersive/emotional’ vision.
By developing ad hoc infrastructure and solutions, TIM is confirming its commitment to innovation in Matera and to spreading awareness of the services they enable, contributing to the sustainable growth of the local economy and improvement in people’s quality of life.
TIM has already invested more than €3 million in new fixed and mobile technologies and the hard work over the years has meant that ‘The Underground City’ now has cutting-edge infrastructure, capable of handling advanced services and therefore adding further impetus to the digital transformation of Italy. On the fixed network, TIM’s cabling programme – involving the laying of fibre-optic cables – has enabled almost all of the municipal area to be connected up, covering a total of around 23,000 homes.
Matera is right at the vanguard on the mobile front, too, and thanks to the trial conducted by TIM is one of the first 5G cities in Europe, with innovative services being developed in sectors including health, industry 4.0, tourism, culture, public safety and the automotive industry.
TIM also completed its 4G Plus network some time ago, providing connections that are up to twice the speed of normal 4G and service levels that clearly improve the web browsing experience and access to innovative content on the move, such as HD video streaming.