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27 & 29 April 2021
Digital Symposium

Regulator of the Year Award: MINTIC

Summary

The Colombian government has paved the way for the adoption of 5G in the country through the publication of the 5G Plan in 2019, which includes the roadmap for the eventual adoption of this technology, and the development of 5G trials in over 40 locations between 2020 and 2021. Moreover, the ICT Ministry is identifying best practices for spectrum allocation as well as the incentives needed so that 5G can be a countrywide technology that helps eliminate the digital gap and helps the country achieve social and economic success.

Description of the impact of the project and how it has supported operators to develop 5G?

Accelerated adoption of 5G in Colombia: massification and technological migration.

The Colombian government, having acknowledged that the access and usage of mobile broadband is a key factor to economic development and productivity improvement, has been achieving strong policy reforms towards connectivity and digital inclusion. This digital transformation relies on the effective and accelerated close of the digital divide, in particular between rural and urban areas, and the appropriation of newer technologies that allow faster and better telecommunication services.

In this context, the Colombian government has led the public policies for the timely implementation of 5G in the country. In 2019, the ICT Ministry was the very first in Latin America to publish a comprehensive policy for 5G that includes the strategic lines, analysis of regulatory measures, and a plan for testing this novel technology through a mechanism for easy-access to spectrum for technical testing (pilots).

As part of this, Colombia has had more than 40 locations for trials of 5G spectrum technology, in cities as different as Bogotá and Tolú, in the Caribbean coast. These pilots address 5G uses such as Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) testing, which allows, among others, interaction between multiple users, use of augmented reality and machine learning; 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) tests; private 5G networks; and pilots associated with entertainment, e-education and e-health.

In addition, the Regulator started studying the regulatory barriers or incentives needed for the operation of 5G. Furthermore, the Ministry has started to identify the best practices for spectrum allocation as well as the incentives needed so that 5G can be a countrywide technology that helps eliminate the digital gap and helps the country achieve social and economic success.