Still Early Days for TIM’s LTE Network in Italy

I recently traveled to Italy and since my home network operator has an LTE roaming agreement with TIM, I could of course not resist to try out their LTE network. While many network operators have started with LTE quite a while ago and are now in the process of optimizing their networks, it seems TIM is not as far down that road yet. Both in Udine and Mestre I got LTE coverage from a 10 MHz carrier on the 800 MHz band. When making phone calls, the LTE network would always send my device to the GSM network and not in to the also existing UMTS network. This is quite a shame since it increases the call setup time and also denies me a data connectivity during the call. Hm, I wonder if they have optimized their network next time I have a look because this looks like early days.

4 thoughts on “Still Early Days for TIM’s LTE Network in Italy”

  1. This sending-to-GSM is apparently what is happening when I place a call using an iPhone on T-Mobile’s German LTE infrastructure. Is there anything on my side I could change to get moved to UMTS? It is really annoying not be able to data connections while talking.

  2. Could that be actually intentional and owed to some form of overload protection? German E-Plus for a very long time did hand over subscribers from UMTS to GSM as soon as they would set up a voice call. Also may it reduce signalling load when you send subscribers from LTE to GSM cells instead of UMTS ones? As GSM cells tend to be larger than UMTS2100 cells you may see less inter-cell handovers once a subscriber has been pushed out of an LTE cell and so less signalling is involved.

  3. Typically operators will re-direct CSFB calls to GSM to ensure over lapping coverage. For LTE at 800MHz this will typically be GSM @ 900MHz. Unless they have deployed UMTS @ 900MHz.

  4. Hi Mark,

    my experience is a bit different: T-Mobile Germany does CSFB to 3G in
    cities, Mobistar in Belgium does CSFB to 3G, KPN Holland does CSFB to
    3G, T-Mobile Holland does CSFB to 3G. Sufficient good examples 🙂


Comments are closed.