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News Article

A Map to the 5G Revolution

By Pedro Alcalá | Thu, 05/12/2022 - 15:14

The introduction of 5G networks and services will transform the structure and capabilities of a wide spectrum of industries, according to industry experts, especially given the fact that the pandemic made businesses more reliant on cloud-based data transmission.

5G will be one of the backbones of digitalization processes throughout Mexico and Latin America, according to Chafic Nassif, North LATAM and Caribbean President, Ericsson. 5G will be one of the chief drivers of job creation and its impact will not be limited to the tech sector, he added. Because of this incentive and many others, 5G could be the secret ingredient that finally closes Latin America’s digital divide. This achievement will put cloud-based services in the hands of populations that will be new to this type and degree of access, allowing them to contribute and innovate the digital space and economy. “5G technology has more capacity and will help us to reduce the digital gap in Latin America, where there are a lot of people who still lack access to the internet,” said Nassif.

For this promise to be fulfilled, more promotional efforts are needed so the private sector can inform governments of the extensive returns of spending in 5G networks, says Rodrigo Martineli, Latin America Vice President and General Manager Latin America, Rackspace Technology. The entire Latin American region could greatly benefit from large scale 5G infrastructure development and investment, according to Martineli: “5G will help existing businesses to modernize themselves, while allowing the generation of new ideas that we cannot even imagine yet.” 

The growth of 5G is a global technological race that will define the evolution and positioning of competing digital economies, allowing Latin America to compete with the EU, according to Martineli. To achieve this goal, the technology must be backed by public investment. “There needs to be government encouragement. It is also key to create facilities for entrepreneurs to keep developing these technologies,” said Nassif. 

5G will enable an explosion of new services in various industries by greatly accelerating the speed at which data can travel, fully transforming data storage infrastructure, said Martineli. This process is already underway because the pandemic made cloud-based services essential to every economic sector. 

“The real revolution is the decentralization of data and 5G will boost that,” said Martineli.  However, this transformation will put new technical burdens on companies and consumers that will require new talent development programs that train technicians to fix emergencies. “The largest challenge we have right now is talent sourcing, as it is not only expensive but scarce. It is very difficult to harness our potential without the right talent,” he added.

Companies are already demanding 5G technology, according to Julio Velázquez, Managing Director, Google Cloud México. In a recent study, seven out of ten companies surveyed showed high degrees of enthusiasm and willingness to invest in 5G tech, he added. As companies increase their focus on team building and collaborative approaches to skill development and problem solving, 5G communication will become essential to the fulfillment of companies’ commercial agendas. “Collaboration will drive the commercial application of the 5G network,” said Velazquez. Meanwhile, the expansion of 5G networks is driving the development of new technologies that will seem miraculous to our current understanding of certain sectors, such as healthcare. “These new technologies will transform many industries. For example, in the health sector, telesurgery is expected to become a reality,” he added. 

As 5G becomes prevalent, cybersecurity becomes a growing concern. Protecting from ransomware attacks and similar threats has become an important part of companies’ concerns regarding their digital transformation, said Alfredo Gutiérrez, Mexico Director General, Workday. 

“An important challenge is definitely security. As an ecosystem, we have to work together to keep security always in mind, especially when handling so much data,” said Nassif. These security concerns have to take into account the history of the companies, their experience and what they bring to the table. 

Even agriculture and strategic food sourcing will be significantly altered by 5G applications, said Nassif. Given the relevance of these industries to the region’ economies, security should be a priority as 5G continues to be deployed across the region.

Pedro Alcalá Pedro Alcalá Senior Journalist & Industry Analyst