TIM 'first operator in Europe' to use quantum computing live on mobile networks

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Running on both TIM’s 4.5G and 5G infrastructure, the operator says the tech provides extremely fast optimisation processes to boost customer experience.

TIM says it is the first mobile operator in Europe to implement quantum computing algorithms in planning its next generation mobile networks.

Quantum computers are based on qubits, basic units of information similar to ordinary bits, which exploit the principles of quantum mechanics to process complex problems and large calculations in extremely short times.

The computational potential of quantum computers makes it possible to tackle problems that are beyond the reach of ordinary computers due to their complexity, performing at around ten times the speed of established optimisation methods.
 
TIM has optimised planning of radio cells, framing the problem within a QUBO (quadratic unconstrained binary optimisation) algorithmic model, carried out on D-Wave's 2000Q quantum computer.

Radio cell planning

All this has made it possible to develop radio cell planning that ensures reliable mobile services with high performance, according to TIM.
 
So far quantum computing has been deployed mainly in the financial, automotive and chemical industries.

The application of the QUBO algorithm to the planning of cell IDs – which allow smartphones to distinguish each radio cell from the others – provides TIM customers with better VoLTE (Voice over LTE) service quality, improving its steadiness when on the move between the areas covered by different cells.

Real-time configuration

Since computing speed is expected to improve further as quantum computing evolves, in future configuring the network in real time will be key to providing customers with better mobile service.

Real-time network configuration is also part of the innovative paradigm of the self-organising networks ‘closed circuit’, already in use by TIM and based on field measurements and rapid reconfiguration of network elements.