Latam Summit at MWC19 Los Angeles: Latin America prepares for 5G arrival and IoT deployment

The Latin America Intelligent Connectivity Summit took place during this year’s MWC Los Angeles. The session brought together analysts and representatives from the public and private sectors to examine the regional impact of the major global trends on the event agenda, including 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT) and convergence of media and mobile.

One of the countries with most representatives at the summit was Brazil, the region’s largest mobile market, which has just reformed its telecommunications regulatory framework with the long-awaited passing of PLC 79/2016. The country is also preparing for a 5G spectrum auction.

“We hope that 5G will not only deliver more services and functionalities for users, but also drive the economy, create jobs and generate income,” said Emmanuel Campelo, Commissioner, ANATEL. Brazil’s Secretary of Telecommunications, Vitor Elisio Góes de Oliveira Menezes, spoke about another initiative under way: “With the National IoT Plan and Chambers 4.0, the country is leading the way in public policy for digital transformation in Latin America”.

According to data from GSMA Intelligence, IoT connections in the region are expected to account for 5 per cent of global IoT connections by 2025, at 1.3 billion. Renato Pasquini, ICT Research Director Latin America and Brazil Country Manager, Frost & Sullivan, shared the preliminary findings of a soon to be published white paper on the state of the IoT ecosystem in the region.

Also participating in the summit was Wilson Cardoso, Chief Solutions Officer, Latin America, Nokia, who shared his vision of how the convergence of mobile connectivity and the media has changed the economy of the telecommunications industry in Latin America.

The session included a panel on Internet for Everyone (IFE), a collaborative project for connecting the unconnected in Latin America developed by Telefónica and Facebook, which is now available in Peru. Oscar Izaguirre Placencia, CFO, Internet for Everyone, highlighted the importance of these initiatives in bridging the digital divide. “Implementing IFE was possible because the country had the right regulatory context to encourage connectivity projects through innovative business models,” said Lester García, Head of Connectivity and Access Policy, Latam, Facebook. García added: “To replicate these types of projects in the region, we first need to replicate certain principles of connectivity in each country”.