Ericsson Ringside Sessions

5G: A race LATAM cannot lose. 12:00 pm CT, live from Mexico City on 12th November.

Ringside Session #4. Recorded live in Mexico city

Available in English Español (Latinoamérica)

Ericsson’s Ringside Session 4 was broadcast live from the historic Palacio de Minería, in Mexico City -an appropriate stage to celebrate Ericsson’s 115 years in Latin America. Like the previous session, this time around our participants faced a live audience when discussing 5G deployment in the region.

5G: A race that LATAM cannot lose

While the US and Asia were the early leaders, Europe is now closing the gap in the race to deploy 5G.  As a technology, it requires careful consideration – changes to regulation, a re-think in spectrum assignment and new models for deployment.  But with that said, most agree that 5G has the potential to bring the most profound impact of any mobile generation - delivering not just on the promise of lightning fast mobile broadband, but also driving a new wave of industrial innovation that will define the competitiveness of countries, and change the way we live our lives.
But as things stand, this is a revolution that doesn’t include Latam – at least yet.  While other countries have raced ahead or fought to catch up, Latam seems happy to observe, to trial and to wait. The continent currently lags the OECD’s Digital Development Index and is tracking well below the ITU recommendations for spectrum allocation.  Around three quarters of spectrum identified for mobile services are still on the shelf.
Is this a deliberate strategy so that when the lessons are learned, Latam can join the race and leap head, or could it be that Latam will miss the moment, and perhaps the greatest opportunity to fire economic growth into the next decade.  A policy pivot to drive expansive mobile connectivity, including 5G, could boost GDP by more than 5%, some USD 300 billion.  This is a prize worth fighting for.  
Ericsson Ringside hosted a live debate from Mexico City.  We heard perspectives from policy makers, industry players and operators regards the strategic significance of 5G; whether Latam is behind in the race; and what they’re doing to become Latam’s 5G leaders.

Watch the on demand version

Ringside Session participants

Gabriela Frias, Moderadora

Gabriela Frias is a Mexican journalist with over two decades of experience. Frias currently anchors Portafolio Global, a daily business program that seeks to open the doors to understanding global business news and economic trends that are shaping our world, including the fourth industrial revolution and all the innovations that are transforming the way we learn, work and live.

Frias was for more than 13 years, the International and Latin American presenter of financial news on CNN, interviewing world leaders, reporting on the global financial issues, traveling to high-level events, such as the G-20 in Mexico and the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. She is recognized as a leader in business journalism in Latin America.

Arun Bansal, President and Head of Europe and Latin America, Ericsson

Arun is President and Head of Europe and Latin America, Ericsson. He joined Ericsson in 1995 and has held various senior positions in the company, including Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Network Products from April 2016 to March 2017, Head of Business Unit Radio from 2014 to 2016, and Head of Region South East Asia and Oceania from 2010 to 2014. He was also responsible for establishing the world's first managed capacity operation with the operator Bharti Airtel in India. Arun holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics) degree and a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing, both from India.

Germán Darío Arias Pimienta

Former Executive Director, Commission For Communications Regulation Of Colombia

Germán joined the team of the Ministry of Communications of Colombia in August 2003, where he contributed in several regulatory challenges: opening the long distance market, interconnection between operators, additional spectrum allocation for mobile operators to meet the growing demand for the service, and the liberation of frequency bands for the use of wireless access technologies, such as Wi-Fi. He also served as Manager of the ICT and Agro Initiative in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies, from where he structured a project aimed at improving the farmers’ quality of life and increasing productivity. Germán is an Economist, holds a Masters Diploma in IT Management, and a specialization in International Business Management, all from Mexico and Colombia.

Jorge F. Negrete

President, Digital & Policy Law

Jorge is one of the most prominent analysts in the telecommunications sector in Latin America. His academic and professional activity is centered around Communication legislation, Telecommunications, Information Technology and Cultural Policy. He is President of Digital Policy & Law, one of the most influential consulting firms in Mexico and Latin America, in the area of ​​public policy and regulation of Telecommunications and Information Technology. He currently sits on the Advisor’s Board of the Federal Telecommunications Institute and is Executive Secretary of the Regional Telecommunications Congress organized yearly by AHCIET, GSMA and CAF. He is the former Secretary General of the Mexican Association of the Right to Information A.C. and also former Coordinator of the Cultural Policy Program of the Mexican Academy for Law, Education and Culture A.C.Development and Information Technology; as well as the Radio, Television and Cinematography Commission of the Senate of the Republic of Mexico. He holds a Law Degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Salma Jalife Villalón

Salma was named Subsecretary of Communications and Technological Development within the Bureau of Communications and Transportation (SCT) in Mexico in 2018. In 1990, she designed and implemented one of the largest private telecommunications networks in Latin America for the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). From 2003 to 2006, she was a commissioner in the Federal Telecommunications Commission (COFETEL) in charge of the Engineering and Technology area, where she directed regulatory proposals on spectrum planning and administration, technical numbering and signaling plans, standardization, terminal approval, and voice over IP, among other matters. Prior to her appointment at the SCT, she served as Coordinator of International Affairs at the University Corporation for Internet Development, A.C. and in the National Research and Education Network of Mexico (NREM). Salma is a member of the Mexican Academy of Engineering, the Mexican Academy of Informatics, and the Mexican Network of Supercomputing. She holds a Masters’ degree in Science specialized in Telecommunications from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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