The supporting infrastructure for 4G operation that was already critical, now with 5G it will be super critical. For César López de Vertr, telecommunications networks will have to be transformed to support this new 5G technology, creating much broader and faster communication roads.
Santiago de Chile.- The arrival of 5G raised questions about whether Latin America is ready to take on this great digital transformation. Although there is still much to be done at the infrastructure level, in Chile this technology is already commercialized and is available in an initial phase, although its full implementation could take around five years according to specialists.
It is a fact that operators have to invest in facilities to strengthen the network and expand it. And not only them, but also governments, because this change must go hand in hand with new legislation that develops a structure that allows 5G to be deployed to its maximum potential.
That said, what are the challenges that telcos and regulatory authorities are facing in implementing 5G? Regarding its impact on the industry and other critical factors, he answers César López, Sales Manager for the Telecommunications Sector for the South of South America (SSA) of Vertiv.
Are governments prepared to take on this great technological change?
There are three main challenges that LATAM governments must solve in their countries:
1.- Prepare and launch tenders or authorizations for the new 5G spectrum bands. Currently, what they are doing is allowing the operating companies to carry out a 5G deployment, but in low capacity and using 4G infrastructure.
2.- Facilitate technological progress with modifications to current legislation, or creating new laws at the level of central governments and local governments for the installation of 5G antennas. We know that many more antennas will be required and there are currently various problems and obstacles to their installation.
3.- Update the regulatory standards for telecommunications services, since they are becoming outdated and are becoming an impediment to having a good level of service. In that sense, operating companies should feel encouraged to compete without sacrificing service quality.
The great challenge for the region is to shorten the so-called “digital divide” and 5G seems to be a good option for this goal. What should the public and private world take into account when approaching the implementation of the network in their countries?
5G technology as such is already available. Once its massive implementation begins in the countries, both the public and private sectors must take into account all the benefits that its use brings. Although it is true that it will improve services for people, it will also provide a solution for the connectivity of millions of devices that will use this technology to communicate with each other. This will allow, for example, the Internet of Things (IoT) to finally become a reality, giving life to smart cities, autonomous vehicles, robotics, telemedicine and other great benefits that will be available.
For this to reach the greatest number of people, it will depend on the strategy adopted by the government of each country. In the case of LATAM, some are more advanced than others. In any case, it is necessary to deploy new infrastructure in telecommunications networks and data centers, for which it is a priority to encourage public and private investment to carry out the reinforcement and new networks that support this 5G technology.
What successful measures has Chile promoted for the implementation of the network?
Chile is an example for other countries, thanks to the national telecommunications plan as a government policy that is being carried out, because it is essential to have new infrastructure, updated legislation and deploy communication channels at the local and international level.
The country has taken this as a challenge, implementing national fiber optic networks and expanding communication channels throughout the territory. Also added is the investment it is making in submarine cables to communicate with Asia, and the fiber optics it is placing in the last mile. Similarly, investment by private companies has been encouraged to build large data centers.
All this is to address the 5G implementation with comprehensive solutions, without generating bottlenecks in its operation.
What about the criticality and edge of the network?
The support infrastructure for 4G operation, which was already critical, will now be super critical with 5G, because we are going to have much broader and faster communication roads. Bandwidth has to improve, as high-volume data packets will circulate in these communication channels, making investments in data centers and new telecommunications networks a priority.
Telecommunications networks will have to be transformed to support this new 5G technology, creating a new space called the edge of the network, where data processing must be done closer to users, in order to satisfy the high demand with low latency, that is, with the shortest response time to a data request.