CAF promotes the 5G mobile ecosystem in Latin America and the Caribbean

CAF promotes the 5G mobile ecosystem in Latin America and the Caribbean

5G It is the fifth generation of wireless telecommunications networks; a new technological standard intended to produce a transformation throughout society through new and better forms of communication and digital adoption, generating a reformulation of the productive networks, leveraging the modernization of the public sector and its relationship with citizens, as well as communication between electronic devices as a tool to improve the quality of life of the population, the productivity of the economy, the functionality and transparency of the public sector, among other aspects.

From the perspective of the end users5G improves the quality of experience (QoE) of users who demand new connectivity requirements, security in networks and their personal data, accessibility, confidentiality and integrity in communications, conditions that are becoming increasingly relevant in a digital economy environment.

5G technology is playing a fundamental role in the Digital transformation for all companies of the different economic sectors of a country, making a wide variety of industries more efficient, productive, competitive, safe, reliable and sustainable in the medium and long term.

The large-scale deployment of 5G communication networks is set to unleash the full potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, through ubiquitous connectivity with high capacity, low latency and high device density.

The European Union classifies 5G applications into 16 verticals. These are:

  • Agriculture
  • Cars and land transport
  • Drones
  • Education
  • Health
  • Energy
  • Fixed wireless access
  • Industry 4.0
  • Media and entertainment
  • Public security
  • Smart buildings
  • Smart cities
  • Smart Utilities
  • Tourism
  • Transport
  • Virtual reality

These benefits, prospects and realities mentioned above are part of the set of motivations for which CAF promotes the deployment and adoption of 5G technology in Latin America and the Caribbean, working jointly with several countries in the region, in the construction of Roadmaps to promote the development of the 5G ecosystem, the execution of pilot tests, the release and allocation of radio spectrum for the deployment of networks and the commercial launch of associated services.

Currently, CAF is contributing specialized technical support to countries such as:

  • Costa Rica and Argentina: Within the framework of the technical cooperation “5G for the productive, economic and social transformation of Latin America”, trends and different use cases of 5G have been identified in the sectors of: Smart Cities, logistics, connectivity in rural areas, as well as the levels of progress of the countries of the region in terms of 5G (Management of public policies, infrastructure, digital capabilities, spectrum management, adoption and affordability), among which, two CAF member countries were selected to develop the second Phase related to the development of a roadmap for each country.

In this regard, we are in dialogue with authorities of the countries, to advance in a coordinated manner. In the case of Costa Rica, together with the Ministry of Science, Innovation, Technology and Telecommunications, we are identifying synergies that allow us to leverage activities aimed at consolidating the Strategic Intervention proposed by Costa Rica called “Evolution of Mobile Telecommunications Networks (5G Route)”, in which the goal of having the 100% progress of the 5G Network project by 2022, and we seek to align synergies in four main aspects:

  • Regulatory framework: to maximize the use of the radio spectrum with an industrial vision, leveraging the development and execution of the stages established in its spectrum management plan, valuation and licensing mechanisms in accordance with the development of the 5G mobile ecosystem.
  • Pilot Test Bench of Testers in 5G: as part of the strategy for the implementation of 5G pilots in the country, together with the non-sovereign sector, which allows stimulating verticals to facilitate innovation, for which it is essential to coordinate sectoral and industrial policies, develop new financing mechanisms and attack administrative barriers that may be identified in the execution stage of the pilots, for a subsequent commercial use of 5G.
  • Strategy for the development of smart communities: to be developed in line with the concept of smart cities and territories to strengthen the articulation between local governments and municipalities, to leverage the productive development of a Cluster of IT as support to the country’s rural communities in the productive use of technology with an R&D&I approach.
  • Local development of applications and technologies, with social use and impact: stimulated by a robust context of cybersecurity and privacy in shared information to increase trust and promote digital adoption in society and productive sectors, hand in hand with the strengthening of human capital in digital skills for industry 4.0.
  • Panama: Within the framework of the Technical Cooperation “Panama 100% National Digital Coverage” in conjunction with AIG (National Authority for Government Innovation) and JAS (Universal Service Advisory Board), a technical and economic study is being developed in its final phases that will lay the foundations for: providing Internet access to approximately 8% of the Panamanian population that currently has no options for connecting to the Internet; establishing the bases for public policy to encourage investment in infrastructure; and defining the technical, economic, operational, business, and governance factors to promote the expansion of infrastructure in rural and hard-to-reach areas.

Additionally, within the framework of the Technical Cooperation “Spectrum Allocation Methodology Project in the AWS Band (1700-2100 MHz) for use by Mobile Cellular services in Panama”, the preparation of a roadmap is contemplated that includes aspects related to the implementation of the digital coverage project, with a perspective of radioelectric spectrum management that establishes the fundamental regulatory elements for the successful launch of the 5G network in the country, by defining a plan for the release and allocation of spectrum for mobile services, as well as an IMT band auction schedule that will include the bands for 5G.

These efforts highlight the urgent need to raise awareness, across the entire public and private sectors, about the need to prepare and adapt for the implementation of this technology in each country for the development of the new 5G mobile ecosystem in Latin America and the Caribbean, providing a cutting-edge perspective on business models and use cases applicable in the region.

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