The future of the 5G network in Mexico

Although the deployment of the 5G network in Mexico will only be available in limited areas, with 3% of the population, it is expected that in 2025 it will have an adoption of 14%, about 18 million connections.

In two years, the first 5G network could launch in Mexico. Image: Pixabay
In two years, the first 5G network could launch in Mexico. Image: Pixabay

Although the challenges faced by Mexico in the area of telecommunications and connectivity are diverse, some specialized firms and technology providers such as Allot, detail that Mexico is one of the leading countries for the deployment of the 5G network to become possible in the Latin American region, having as the first runways to Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City.

Security will be one of the key attributes of 5G

"Although the deployment of the 5G network in Mexico will only cover 3% of the population, and all indications are that it will only be available in limited areas of Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, we are working with our customers to implement technology in existing networks in order to protect the data, devices and privacy of their customers," says Francisco Cayuela, head of Allot for Latin American markets.

This coincides with the notes of the GSMA, a body that brings together mobile operators and related companies, dedicated to the standardization, implementation, and promotion of the mobile phone system. It points out that Mexico will be the first market to launch commercial 5G services, hand in hand with the companies Telcel and AT&T.

In its figures, this organization details that although the adoption in Mexico will be imminent and will serve as a gateway for the rest of America, it will be until 2025 when Mexicans can see a result close to 14% in its adoption.

"As a result, it is expected to see the fastest adoption of 5G in Mexico, with 18 million connections (14% adoption) by 2025, followed by Brazil, with 26 million connections (11% adoption), and Peru, with 4 million connections (10% adoption)," says the GSMA.

One of the benefits that the 5G will give to the devices is the connection speed, which currently oscillates in 200 megabytes per second and which will pass up to 20 gigabytes per second, with a more stable connectivity. That represents a quantum leap in Internet speed, which will be between 100 and 1,000 times faster.

"According to the IMT-2020, the goal of the new networks is to connect up to 1 million devices per square kilometer. In order to understand the magnitude of this capacity, it is as if the state of Chiapas could host four times the number of mobile lines currently in operation around the planet, which brings implicitly an exponential increase in attacks and therefore the need to be protected against them," says the head of Allot.

According to the document, 'The Mobile Economy Latin America and the Caribbean 2018', countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Chile, and Colombia, have been working since 2016 in tests of this technology with some local operators in their respective regions.

"Some operators tested 5G in high-frequency bands, above 20GHz called millimeter waves, mainly for high capacity implementations in short distances," the analysis says.

By Agencies

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With the presence of executives, authorities, and analysts from more than 40 countries, the fifth edition of the Mobile 360 ​Latin America was held this week for the second time in Mexico City.

The focus of the meeting was to analyze how Latin America can adopt the latest innovations and, at the same time, improve and expand the use of existing technologies to accelerate the digital transformation of businesses and societies.

There are four key points that should be considered in such a framework: timely release of spectrum under the right conditions; approval of consolidation to boost investments while maintaining effective competition; equivalent rules for digital service providers - that is, a level playing field for operators and Internet companies; and harmonized international policies on privacy and data protection.

The inaugural conference also featured masterly presentations by Javier Jiménez Espriú, Secretary of Communications and Transportation of Mexico; Carlos Slim Domit, President of the Board of América Móvil; and Gabriel Contreras, Commissioner President of the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT).

Carlos Morales Paulin, CEO of Telefónica México, and Eduardo Gutiérrez, President of IBM Mexico, participated in a panel on how to intelligently connect to Latin America, moderated by Laxmi Akkaraju, Chief Strategy Officer of the GSMA. The welcome to the event was made by Javier Piñeiro, the new Regional Director for Latin America of the GSMA.

The debate sessions continued with topics such as the impact of the networks of the future, discovering the potential of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things and regulatory challenges for the arrival of 5G.

The main conference was dedicated to the power of data and automation, how to build trust in the digital economy, and how to boost business agility in the midst of digital transformation. Featured speakers included AT & T, Cisco, Ericsson, Facebook, Google, Korea Telecom, Nokia and Telecom Argentina, among others.

Mobile 360 ​​Latin America also offered a varied program of workshops, meetings and special activities, including the Latin America Strategy & Innovation Forum meeting and a round table on gender diversity in the technology industry. It also had its place, for the second time in a Mobile 360 ​​Series conference, the 4YFN Startups Zone (Four Years From Now), in which they exhibited their local startup solutions.

On the third and final day, a meeting was held on successful models for the deployment of infrastructure in the region organized by the National Telecommunications Association (ANATEL) and a summit of Internet of Things companies in charge of the IDB Invest, arm for the private sector of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

By Agencies


According to Navarrete Torres, the intentions of the IFT are between reordering the spectrum from 3.3 to 3.6 GHz and "moving" the current three dealers of that band (Telmex / Axtel / AT&T) to the "highest" and create contiguous blocks of frequencies, wider and technically more apt to exploit them later in 5G.

Manufacturers, operators, analysts and civic organizations interested in the telecommunications industry will know before June a plan from the Federal Institute of Telecommunications that will detail the frequencies available and susceptible to be exploited in the fifth generation or 5G services and other related technologies.

If so, Mexico will become the first Latin American country to have a well-established roadmap on spectrum exploitation for 5G in bands, such as 3.4 GHz and millimeter frequencies ranging from 24 to 86. GHz, and then the industry will have greater certainty of where and in what terms to guide their investments in this area.

Only Europe and Asian nations have outlined more clearly and tendered and frequencies for this type of man-man or machine-machine communications.

"What we want to achieve is a clarity of what we have available, what we must reorder and what works with this technology once it is standardized. Basically, to have a plan for the industry to know, for example, which bands we consider medium, low or high; for coverage or for capacity and why we propose them for what services. Basically, they will know what we have already told them, but now it will be in a serious document, on paper," said Alejandro Navarrete, head of the IFT Radioelectric Spectrum Unit, which this week holds ministerial meetings with its regulatory and industrial peers from America, Asia and Europe related to this sector.

"To be clearer, it will be a route axis that will define our plans for the next few years and the industry will be clear about what we do. We believe it will be very important for the market (...) Yes, it will be like a guide for the next decade, because it will be a document of greater scope and scope for the following years and we hope to present it in a couple of months ".

While the full regulator knows and, where appropriate, approves this document, the Radioelectric Spectrum Unit continues the work to simultaneously tender the frequencies of 3.4 GHz and 600 MHz in 2020, the first in the process of reordering and the second one has already taken up by the State after the process of transition to digital television.

According to Navarrete Torres, the intentions of the IFT are between reordering the spectrum from 3.3 to 3.6 GHz and "moving" the current three dealers of that band (Telmex / Axtel / AT & T) to the "highest" and create contiguous blocks of frequencies, wider and technically more apt to exploit them later in 5G.

The 3.4 GHz band in Mexico goes from 3.3 to 4.2 Gigahertz and in other markets, it is identified as "3.3 GHz" or "3.5 GHz".

To date, the regulator has already defined that at least 300 Megahertz of these frequencies will be exploited in 5G services, including the 150 already owned by AT&T, Axtel and Telmex and if it is in their interest to retain them.

At the same time, the IFT is also studying how to obtain a total of ten Gigahertz of bandwidth distributed between the millimetre spectrum that goes from 24.25 to 86 GHz and equally destine them to services of the fifth generation, after a "combination" with coverage bands such as 600 MHz.

"We have free spectrum in the 57 to 64 GHz; from 71 to 76 and from 81 to 86 GHz, "said Alejandro Navarrete. "We are thinking and listening to what is being done for 5G, according to what Europe and other advanced countries do. For now we seek to unify and get there about ten Gigahertz for wireless services and tender in 2020 the bands of 3.4 GHz and 600 MHz, because this year will finish standardizing 5G technology and there we will go ".