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  • Esther Riveroll

5G and WiFi 6: The New Connectivity

With the advent of the digital era, the internet has become an essential need for both businesses and individuals. Major urban centers in Latin America such as São Paulo, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, San José, and Santiago, among others, demand greater, faster, and more secure connectivity to streamline their daily activities.

In the era of digital transformation, multiple connections between individuals and smart devices will be established; the consolidation of Industry 4.0, mobility through autonomous vehicles; remote medical, educational, and entertainment assistance; as well as the construction of smart, safe, and comfortable cities.

People seek increasingly faster response times via the internet. 5G networks and WiFi 6 wireless connections are technologies that promise to make all of the above possible, as modern devices come equipped to access these technologies and promote connectivity for economic, technological, and telecommunications development.

Consulting firm IDC predicts that by 2022, in Mexico alone, there will be 30 billion minutes of video traffic traveling through networks every month, making WiFi 6 essential to handle such a volume of traffic. Meanwhile, Cisco reveals that by the same year, 5G connections will represent more than 3% of total mobile connections.

GSMA forecasts that by 2025, there will be a faster adoption of 5G in Mexico, with 18 million connections (14%), followed by Brazil with 26 million connections (11%), and Peru with 4 million connections (10%).

5G is premised on a combination of voice, data, and video, which will give rise to an "enhanced reality" in both the real and digital realms, with individuals better connected on both corporate and personal levels.

In 2021, once testing phases have passed and radio spectrum allocation is complete, 5G networks will begin to be deployed, followed by the commercialization of their services and applications. Undoubtedly, this will be very positive for IoT initiatives and their use cases in various industries.

In terms of connectivity, 5G initially raised users' expectations by promising transmission speeds of up to 20 gigabits per second and the ability to transmit large volumes of data. Thus, 5G promises speeds 10 times faster than 4G or LTE networks.

In addition to that, low latency, meaning access and download waiting times of less than 1ms, enable individuals to remotely control activities in real-time such as remote surgical operations or the safe operation of autonomous vehicles with shorter response times.

5G coverage will gradually expand across different regions of the world and will work hand in hand with generations of mobile network technologies and with WiFi 6, which will offer connection speeds up to four times higher than WiFi 5.

WiFi 6 goes beyond simple smartphone connections and is expected to take off in manufacturing and logistics, as well as in places with a large number of users demanding fast and secure connectivity with low latency, improved bandwidth, and advanced traffic management.

Connectivity is inevitable and must be for the benefit of social and economic improvement. In the face of this, let us prepare technologically to meet the challenges of the new reality. Welcome to the new digital era!

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