GSMA THRIVE LATIN AMERICA: GSMA Intelligence forecast 5G connections across Latin America will reach 62 million by 2025, pointing to a need for spectrum access and long-term policies around digital inclusion as main focus areas alongside deployment.

In its Mobile Economy Latin America 2020 report, released on the opening day of the event, the analyst company predicted 5G will represent nearly 10 per cent of all connections across the region in the next four years, with 4G on 67 per cent.

GSMA Intelligence noted a growing trend in deployment of private networks by enterprises in sectors including manufacturing, mining and utilities, and tipped IoT connections to reach 1.2 billion by 2025.

Spectrum availability
The company underlined the importance of the first 5G spectrum auctions in Latin America, pointing to “timely access to the right amount and type of spectrum, at prices that do not discourage investments” as a key factor for success.

“Regulators should aim to make available 80MHz to 100MHz of contiguous spectrum per operator in prime 5G mid bands and around 1GHz per operator in high bands. Lower bands are also key to set the stage for 5G to reach more people, due to their greater coverage capabilities”, it explained.

It also stressed the need for comprehensive digital inclusion policies, “especially in the wake of the unprecedented demand for connectivity” stemming from the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.