5G costs, the biggest obstacle to its deployment in Latin America

The implementation of 5G technology in major cities in Latin America will take between five or six years, mainly due to high installation and operation costs, said Fernando Garcia, vice president, and general manager of Vertiv for Latin America.

The great challenge that exists today among operators is how to monetize 5G networks, since the user is not willing to pay more for a higher speed
The great challenge that exists today among operators is how to monetize 5G networks, since the user is not willing to pay more for a higher speed

Although the first implementations of 5G have already been made in Uruguay, in the rest of the region it will be some years before "we begin to have relevant coverage," García said during the 34th Andicom International Congress taking place in Cartagena de Indias.

According to the representative of the world's largest company dedicated to ensuring operational continuity of applications, one of the obstacles to the rapid implementation of 5G in Latin America is the high capital investment required by its infrastructure.

"In Latin America, it is estimated that in an aggregate manner in the next five years the investment will amount to some 50 or 60 billion dollars", he explained.

Garcia added that for this reason telecommunications operators "are being very cautious," because that investment "requires an economic model that allows them to make that investment profitable later and the current economic model with all prepaid cards and only billing for data does not cover it and does not justify it.

The executive explained that operators of cellular telephony services are looking for application services "that will be able to mount on top of these networks to provide additional services" such as content distribution by 5G or intelligent cities.

Although he did not give exact figures, he said that an investment of "between 30 % and 50 %" higher than what was used for 4G technology is needed.

"5G cells are smaller than 4G cells, so more needs to be installed to achieve the same coverage. In addition, 5G technology consumes between two and three times more energy than 3G and 4G, so the cost of operating the network will be higher," he said.

The great challenge that exists today among operators is how to monetize 5G networks since the user is not willing to pay more for a higher speed.

For this reason, operators are looking for ways to provide additional services beyond cellular telephony and data: "Provide services mainly directed to companies and not so much to consumers to look for ways to make these networks profitable," he added.

Garcia said 5G technologies are going to be "a radical change" in the way humans communicate and the way they consume information.

This is due to the fact that this technology has two characteristics that make it "revolutionary": speed and bandwidth, which are "equivalent to a hundred times what we have today with 4G in cell phones," and ultra-low latency.

"We will be able to enable a number of services and applications that today we can not even imagine ranging from virtual reality to cars driven," he said.

According to Garcia, at Vertiv, where they provide software solutions and services dedicated to ensuring the continuity of telecommunications networks and data centers, the utility of 5G has been classified into what they call four archetypes.

The first has to do with the massive distribution of entertainment content such as Netflix or Spotify and the second is related to virtual reality and augmented reality.

"In a few years we will no longer use two-dimensional devices but will use devices that allow us to see in three dimensions and allow us to communicate in another way," he said.

The third archetype refers to applications sensitive to machine-to-machine communication, as more than half of Internet traffic is generated by robots, sensors, and devices that create an enormous amount of information.

According to Garcia, this "will have a lot of application in stock market transactions, as well as in intelligent security, urban video surveillance and facial recognition.

Finally, there is what they call "critical for life" where autonomous cars and digital medicine are located.

By Mexicanist Source EFE

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5G technology accelerates access across Latin America

The 5G technology expands its presence worldwide and Latin America is preparing to assimilate the service and Bolivia still has to work in its ecosystem to take advantage of the benefits of the proposal.

Ericsson executives pointed out that the 5G proposal goes for entertainment and industries, and explained that this new technology connects things, while 4G connects people.

At a global level, the incorporation of 5G technology is advancing. It is expected that networks will reach 43 percent worldwide, as well as 32 percent of connected mobile networks, of this 9 percent connectivity will be in Latin America.

Representatives of the Swedish company reported that they have 24 Ericsson commercial networks in the world, which already use the 5G benefit. As an example, they mentioned that the use is shown more in telemedicine, in intelligent cities, with connected traffic lights as well as with security cameras.

But education also enters this field, since children will be able to review their subjects through virtual reality and increase their knowledge. Ericsson Bolivia has been working with operators in the country since 2015, whose equipment already has the incorporated technology.

Meanwhile, when the ecosystem becomes a reality in Bolivia, users will be able to navigate at high speeds and connect to objects.


The company carried out in La Paz the Ericsson Barcelona Unboxed, in which it showed the 5G technology, the fifth generation of mobile telephony that offers improved speed, less latency, greater capacity, and greater flexibility.

According to Ericsson, 5G broadband service is expected to provide 10 to 100 times more capacity and data throughput than 4G.

This new generation of mobile telephony, already present in some European and Asian markets, goes beyond connecting people. It focuses on facilitating the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, enabling the expansion of smart cities, virtual and augmented reality (AR/VR), autonomous vehicle transport and digital health.

It is expected that by the end of 2024, up to 35% of global data traffic will be operated by 5G and 65% of the population will be covered by this technology. This will keep pace with the current increase in mobile data traffic, which will grow 30% per year by 2024, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report.

"Based on our technological leadership, research and development investments and global scale, we are well positioned to partner with Latin American telephone operators as they plan their migration to 5G," said Arun Bansal, Ericsson's director of Latin America and Europe.

Meanwhile, Public Works Minister Óscar Coca said 5G technology will begin to be implemented in the country gradually, taking into account that its application "has several edges," beyond the technical.

By Agencies