The digital revolution has increasingly become part of our real lives. Watching a film, purchasing a gift, checking bank statements and calling a friend abroad for free are different actions, but all with one thing in common: we can do all these things without leaving the comfort of our homes, directly from our mobile devices.

This is not a technological event limited to the world of research, but a phenomenon that is guiding the transformation of society in every form. It is changing relationships between people, communication between institutions and citizens, and the labour market. After those driven by steam, electricity and electronics, this fourth industrial revolution is bringing about an epochal change: the speed of transformation.

Telecommunications is one of the sectors most heavily influenced by this change. In recent years, the sector has been dedicated to developing digital technologies and business models, rethinking the value proposition of products and services.

The technological development of telecommunication systems results in major benefits for citizens, companies and the public administration  through increasingly widespread Broadband and Ultra Broadband connections, with the speed of data transmission exceeding a gigabyte per second.

Today, we often talk about a ‘Gigabit Society’, in which networks faster than a gigabyte per second make way for applications targeted at companies and consumers in the fields of virtual and non-virtual reality, telemedicine as well as entertainment, and with advanced applications for ‘connected cars’ and ‘advanced home automation’. They also make possible to manage large numbers of users simultaneously, accessing high-definition content, experiencing “immersive reality” applications, giving shape to digital realities and using advanced smart working solutions that are fully integrated with company applications. These innovations lead to major benefits, both direct and indirect, for the national economy and personal wellbeing.

However, the development of a Gigabit Society is impossible without the joint development of fully symmetrical national and EU strategies for digitalisation and ultra-broadband networks, to meet the new needs of businesses and families. In terms of development strategies, the European Digital Agenda, with national transposition in the Italian Digital Agenda, has proved to be an essential instrument over the years for overcoming digital “barriers”, developing broadband and ultra-broadband infrastructure, improving the digital proficiency of citizens and companies and creating opportunities for achieving economic, social and environmental benefits.

In this context, Vodafone Italy has made a precious contribution to the concrete development of the Gigabit Society through its investments in the expansion of fixed fibre-optic networks and the development of new mobile connections. This commitment has enabled solutions that bring fibre-optics to the homes of customers (FttH) with a speed of 1Gbps, which reach 12.4 million families in 4 Italian cities, and mobile connections with 4G technology, available across 97% of the national territory, and 4.5G at 800Mbps, available in the cities of Florence, Palermo and Milan.