Telecom Italia (TIM) has officially launched a new promotion called 5G On, which is designed to encourage mobile customers to switch to 5G networks. Under the offer, anyone with an active data offer and compatible handset can switch to 5G at download speeds of up to 2 Gbps and upload speeds of 150 Mbps for €5.00 (US $6.10) a month and no activation fees.
TIM’s 5G network was recently switched on in Benevento in the southern Campania region, the twelfth major city to receive the technology following its launch in 2019. The operator’s 5G network is now officially available in the cities of Milan, Benevento, Ferrara, Bologna, Genoa, Sanremo, Brescia, Monza, Genoa, Florence, Naples, Turin and Rome, as well as some tourist resorts such as Cortina d’Ampezzo, Livigno and Selva di Val Gardena.
The operator intends to extend the network to all of the country’s main cities, tourist destinations and industrial districts by the end of 2021, achieving full national 5G coverage by 2025.
With TIM having invested considerable sums to roll out a 5G network in many major cities and urban areas in Italy, it is of course critically important to the operator that there be the fullest possible uptake of the highs-speed service. While the upload and download speed figures are certainly impressive, it is not clear that users absolutely need these speeds, given that many may already be more or less content with their 4G/LTE service. In order to incentivize customers to try 5G, a very persuasive—and therefore inexpensive—promotion is an appropriate strategy.
TIM is making the new 5G service available at an increase in monthly plan cost that is almost nominal. For just €5.00, subscribers can try out the new network and experience its speeds, and this experiential approach seems likely to result in a large number of users being converted to 5G. The only potential problem—aside from how long the operator can continue to offer access to 5G at such a low additional cost—lies in the 5G-compatible devices. Relatively few users who do not already have 5G are likely to have 5G handsets, so it will be incumbent upon the operator to get as many of these as possible into their hands, at prices that will be as persuasive as the 5G On promotion itself.