Brazil and The European Union has signed a cooperation agreement aiming to develop the next generation of communication network, known as 5G technology.
Brazil has 180 million broad band mobile access points, and this number is growing at a fast pace. The Brazilian Minister of Communications, André Figueiredo, believes that the country needs new technologies that are able to overcome present challenges, as larger download and upload rates, enhanced network coverage and more reliable connection.
4G technology is not yet a reality outside large urban centers. Also, analogue TV will keep using 700 MHz frequency in the upcoming years. This should however not be a great obstacle for the initial tests of the 5G technology to start taking place. The goal now is to make 5G technology available for commercial operation by 2020, and it naturally involves a lot of work.
Questioned if that would be late if compared to other countries and regions that are aiming to implement the same technology earlier, the minister says it does not necessarily mean that tools using 5G are only going to be operative by 2020, as this is an ongoing process.
«It is an evolution process until those tools become commercially available to the population», he states. The minister also highlighted that this is not going to represent an abandonment of 4G, as they are different technologies that use different frequencies.
«We are also working to improve 4G technology», he says.
Focus on standardization, research and development
The collaboration between Brazil and The European Union in the ICT industry started in 2008. Since then, eight assemblies have been conducted approaching this area of cooperation. Last year, Telebras announced a joint venture to connect Europe and South America by a new submarine cable.
The Memorandum of Understanding signed on February 23, 2016, includes collaboration on the creation of common regulations and the standardization of 5G in addition to the identification of globally harmonized spectrum bands. The focus is strongly pushed towards private and public research and development of new, innovative technologies.
In the upcoming years, the new network generation is going to be used in public services, industrial applications, cars, smart houses, among several other areas. The cooperation agreement aims also to include the application of 5G technology in smart cities, agribusiness, healthcare, education, transportation, public services, energy and video streaming.
Preliminary tests start to be scheduled
Currently, Ericsson is engaged in research projects together with the Federal University of Ceará (UFC). The project aims to map the real conditions in which systems will be used both by the society and the industry.
The Swedish company is also going to run tests in Brazil together with América Móvil, which owns Claro, one of the major carriers in the country.
By Guilherme Mendes, Innovation Norway