A strategy for 5G in the Caribbean
At Canto’s 36th Annual Conference last week, a panel of experts met to discuss “How 5G can be deployed in the Caribbean”.
There haven’t been many revelations coming from a panel made up of vendors, regulators and stakeholders for a discussion that will ultimately be decided by governments and regional telecommunications companies, none of which will be decided. ‘was represented in the discussion.
What has emerged are proven best practices and the results of some limited deployments in the Latin American region. According to Dr Mohamed Madkour, global vice president of marketing and wireless solutions at Huawei Technologies, 5G has not got off to a great start in Latin America.
In the Caribbean, Liberty Puerto Rico can highlight its successful deployment over the past year (
https://j.mp/2TSJwQn – https://technewstt.com/bd1311-5g-global-deployment/), but most regional telecom operations are still recovering the cost of upgrading their 4G LTE network.
China has adopted 5G; especially for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Wireless technology is actively used in more than 20 industries in more than 1,000 projects with a collective value of US $ 1.2 billion.
China is seeing industrial productivity gains of 20 percent, Madkour said, and the country has reduced the number of workers working underground.
Huawei has built 170 5G networks around the world.
“Those who embrace 5G want to be known on the tech map,” Madkour said.
“Investing in 4G is the best way to reduce the barriers to investing in adopting 5G. So in two to three years, you can just turn on the 5G switch.
“You can’t grow good 5G until you have good 4G soil, you have to have the 5G anchor and you have to be able to aggregate 4G and 5G. [bandwidth].
“Every 4G dollar is a 5G dollar.”
Ericsson has built 93 live 5G networks, said Fabian Monge Muñoz, manager of network sales and managed services for the company.
Ericsson has connected 580 million 5G subscribers and plans to have 3.5 billion by 2026.
“The Caribbean has 40% 4G penetration, making it a potentially strong base,” Muñoz said.
“A year ago for the Caribbean and Latin America, Ericsson estimated 13% growth in 5G traffic by 2025, but we are now seeing regulators setting medium and high band frequencies and adoption is expected to be faster. “
Ericsson estimates that there will be 7.7% economic growth directly attributable to the introduction of 5G in the region.
“The sooner we bring technology to the Caribbean, the faster we can bridge this technology gap,” he said.
Ericsson believes that new technologies like 5G will enable them to act as a huge driver for telecom companies, expanding the range of services they can provide to monetize their investments in technology.
Muñoz noted that two-thirds of the most valuable use cases for additional services are technology showcases or are still in development, but estimates that 20-30% of customers are willing to pay more for 5G if the technology’s value is properly explained.
Dr Bruno Soria of Nera Economic Consulting noted that customers were unwilling to pay more for extra speed.
Telecommunications companies switching to 5G will face investments that will include the cost of new spectrum licenses, new network equipment and the implementation of a much denser fiber backhaul.
Soria sees immediate vectors for improvement in the IoT, particularly in agricultural technology and fixed broadband, in improving connectivity for rural broadband and for the integration of fixed and mobile networks in order to increase the capacity of mobile clients.
Soria estimates that there is $ 3.78 billion in revenue to be earned globally from the digitization of industries by 2030.
For Huawei’s Madkour, change isn’t just about technology adoption. “The process must be open and collaborative relationships between all stakeholders,” he said.
“Everyone needs to be in one place to make decisions about spectrum licensing, to understand industry requirements, to establish telecommunications regulations. “
“5G is not just a technical issue or a business issue or even a social issue. 5G has become a political issue, and we need to get rid of it. “
Mark Lyndersay is the editor of technewstt.com.