COP 25 Chile: The role of 5G in smarter society

The COP 25 UN Climate Change Conference takes place in Madrid this week under the incoming Presidency of the Government of Chile. In this post, Roberto Cabanillas Acerbi shares three ways 5G is being applied to create smarter society in Chile.

The COP 25 UN Climate Change Conference
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Mobile communication is something which runs in my blood. This traces back to 1922 when my great grandfather sent the first radio transmission from Buenos Aires to Cordoba in Argentina, the place where I was born.

That’s partly why, today, I feel a sense of pride to be part of Ericsson, especially as we move into a completely new era of mobile connectivity. This new generation, 5G, has the potential to make so many things possible, and can be a core enabler for smarter and more sustainable solutions across both industry and society.

1922-1st radio transmission BsAs-Cordoba


We got a taste for this already in 2019 with our many wonderful technological demonstrations together with our partners. These moments allowed us to demonstrate that not only are we leading the quest to 5G, but we are staying true to our long tradition of making sure our business contributes to making the world a better place. In doing so, we are contributing to many of the sustainable development goals, including good health and wellbeing, climate action and partnerships for the goals.

Here are three ways we are doing this in Chile right now:

  1. Air quality monitoring with 4G and 5G
    To push the boundaries of collaboration yet further, we agreed to build a consortium with Triple Helix across government, academia and industry.

    Sensor-Torre ENTEL-01

    In November 2019, together with Centro Mario Molina, ENTEL, we launched the first experimental air quality network using 4,5G technologies. Normally an area is monitored using a fixed sensor, but in Chile for the first time, one sensor in movement can monitor thousands of kilometers along a path.

    This challenge was a success thanks to the trucks provided by Scania and Transporte Ricardo Concha as well as buses provided by Volvo and Subus. This is a perfect example on how partnerships across sectors and expertise areas can enable us to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. This, of course, is a critical demand of the exponential roadmap to halve emissions by 2030.

    Volvo Bus with air quality sensor

    Scania truck with air quality sensor

  2. Telemedicine with 5G

    In June 2019, we demonstrated the first Telemedicine of Chile using 5G, together with the operator ENTEL and government regulator SUBTEL. The high throughput and low latency of 5G offer the perfect combination to do a remote echography. This was executed sending movements through 5G from the hand of a doctor using a joystick in order to guide a remote paramedic using a haptic glove. It was a challenge because both millimeter band in 28Ghz and mid-bands 3,5Ghz were combined in the same geographical space. This is an ideal example of how 5G technology can be used to generate a significant impact in society.

    Primer Demonstration 5G Comercial

    Incidentally, this use case also resonated with me on a personal level. Indeed medicine has been present in my life since I was very young. Partly because my mother is a Surgeon, but also because my wife is a Dermatologist. A dream converted into reality with 5G is enabling medicine from specialists reaching whichever patient without geographical limitations.

    Haptic glove at CESFAM

  3. Industry 4.0 with 5G
    In July 2019, we collaborated with ABB to demonstrate the first trial of an Industry 4.0 application using 5G to remotely control a mining engine for conveyors at the ABB University in downtown Santiago and a robotic arm located at the Santiago South headquarters of INACAP 15km away.

    Industry 4.0-Team ABB

    Mining has always been an industry that catches my attention because you see a tradeoff between the power of nature and the power of transformation from human being. Our use case demonstrates how 5G can contribute to a safer mining environment, reduce emissions and make the operation much more efficient. You can watch a video of the demonstration here (in Spanish).

    Industry 4.0-Robot 5G

Where will 5G take us next?

4G brought video to everybody, 4,5G brought coverage everywhere and 5G brings low latency and high throughput. More important than those technological benefits of 5G is the possibility to enhance interaction between human-machine and between humans.

More and more we are going to see a natural blend of 5G, IoT, AI and newer technologies merging into a blend of Internet of Skills which combines people, things, knowledge and teaching. This Internet of Skills can be the enabler to discover new capabilities as an extension of humans to unlock the true potential of creativity to become a better society. I am convinced that through digitalization, new technologies and partnerships across sectors, we can help to tackle a range of global challenges and continue to be a strong driver of positive change.



Read more

Explore more Ericsson 5G use cases.

Read more about the Internet of Skills in a recent Ericsson Blog post.

Follow the latest activities of the COP 25 UN Climate Change Conference.

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