EconomyFinancialThe country that does not have 5G "will lose...

The country that does not have 5G "will lose competitiveness": Nicole Rodríguez of AT&T

Nicole Rodríguez, vice president and chief technology officer of AT&T Mexico, and who is in charge of the deployment of 5G in the country, assures that the fifth generation in networks is not just about implementing a technology, but the possibility of being more competitive at a global level. world.

5G will connect devices and people more quickly, and will also allow the development of new digital ventures. This makes the country more attractive for investment and technology companies.

“For example, with 4G, the United States had an advantage over the rest of the world and used it very well. With this technology, Silicon Valley exploded with innovative systems, as well as entrepreneurs like Facebook and Google”, assures the director of AT&T Mexico.

Now, international experience, says Rodríguez, shows that the decision of companies to take their factories to other countries is made based on who has 5G. An example is the manufacturing companies that will use this new technology for their operations.

For this reason, governments are increasingly interested in developing this technology, but they are aware of the cost involved in its deployment, since it is practically necessary to create a new network: new spectrum bands, antennas with greater capacity, radios and a large amount of fiber optics.

Some governments, such as Argentina, are evaluating not charging the spectrum for the development of the fifth technology in networks, in exchange for maintaining the price of their services. The United States gives subsidies for spectrum in rural areas, while other administrations are willing to defer payment for spectrum for up to 20 years so that operators can deploy 5G faster and monetize the technology so that, later, they pay the costs of the bands.

These policies can be replicated in Mexico, where the cost for the use and right of the radio spectrum is one of the most expensive internationally, and yet it is also one of the most important elements to transition to 5G.

“You need more spectrum, and we know that spectrum is not cheap in Mexico. It is one of the OECD countries that has the most expensive spectrum cost in the world, another strong weight on the economic part of the equation,” he says. Directive.

According to The CIU consulting firm, with current spectrum costs, it is estimated that the total price for this resource represents between 22% and 30% of the operators’ income.

“The country that does not have the 5G infrastructure will lose competitiveness because how are you going to develop innovation if you do not have how to test it, where to do it, where to massify it,” warned the AT&T board.

Last year AT&T Mexico began the deployment of 5G. Rodríguez explained that, initially, “5G islands” will begin to be seen in the country, since coverage will gradually be established in the country, and they must also guarantee the interoperability of previous technologies such as 4G, 3G, and 2G, since They are nets that Mexicans use.

5G also requires an ecosystem

Launching 5G means a new environment, from devices to human talent. For this reason, the telecommunications company created its 5G Innovation Laboratory, where they will test and validate, with collaborators and technological allies such as Intel, Honor and Motorola, different cases of use of the new technology in the fields of artificial intelligence, internet of things , the cloud, augmented reality, among others. It will also work in collaboration with industry, government, universities and startups to develop prototypes that use technology and will accelerate projects in partnership with incubators and investment funds to develop technological solutions that benefit the population.

“If we don’t have the use cases that are going to allow us to monetize this investment, basically what we are going to do is make all services more expensive and impoverish an operator that today is bringing competitiveness to a market.

The directive comments that 5G will require more digital talent such as experts in data science, mathematics, engineering, but Mexico still lacks these types of profiles. “We need to motivate young people as women and men to study science, mathematics, technology. Since I’ve been in Mexico, in 2015, getting talent for new technologies is not easy (…) and much more talent is required to face the future”, he details.

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