Industry leaders from Latin American organizations, ecosystem partners and operators gathered to discuss trends, challenges, business success practices and innovative applications of fiber optics in Latin America.
Bob Cai, president of Huawei Latin America Carrier Business, opened the conference by stating that broadband connectivity is growing rapidly in Latin America and the Caribbean, especially in Brazil, where 5G infrastructure is developing at high speed. The continent needs to accelerate further to catch up with China and other Asian countries. "Fiber optics is seen as a key part of the solution", he said.
According to UIT research, every 10% increase in fiber penetration can increase GDP by 1.9%. Many Latin American countries, such as Brazil, Chile and Mexico, have launched policies to accelerate fiber optic development. According to Brazil's Broadband Strategy, the fiber optic backhaul rate will reach 100% in areas with more than 600 people and residential access bandwidth will exceed Gbit/s by 2027.
Rodrigo Robles, Program Officer, Brasilia Regional Office, UIT, emphasized the importance of broadband connectivity for nations to achieve the UN's sustainable goals. He said: "By 2030, the goal is for everyone to have access to the Internet, whether in the workplace, at home or at school. To achieve this, governments and businesses must invest in infrastructure, affordability, digital skills and content".
"In the coming years, we will address these challenges of bringing connectivity to the entire country", reported Jorge Borges, Anatel Brazil's Superintendent of Competition. Faced with the need to bring connectivity to remote and less populated regions of Brazil today, the government agency is committed to accelerating the implementation of fiber optics in the country as a key development factor. "Our investments in isolated locations, including infovias in the north, are on track. We are also at a time of regulatory change, focusing on the user and fostering new markets. We are committed to bringing connectivity to people's daily lives and optimizing new economic sectors".
Huawei has deployed more than 8,000 kilometers of optical fiber in the state of Amazonas, enabling 3.7 million people to access the Internet. "Huawei will also continue to work hard in the future to let no one be left behind in the digital world", said Bob Cai.
Major carriers expressed their strategy in the same direction. "We have been investing in fiber since day one of our broadband operations", said Marcelo Carvalho, CMO of Claro Brazil. "The Brazilian market is very competitive, so the secret is to deliver the service according to the user's needs. But not only in a continental country, public policies are fundamental to solve inequalities and affordability", he continued.
Átila Branco, CTIO of Fibrasil, and Marcio Estefan, CCO of I-Systems, spoke about the brazilian fiber optic infrastructure. "The idea that each company should own its tower infrastructure belongs to the past", Estefan said. "Sharing common needs can result in better results for all players, in addition to reducing operation and maintenance costs", agreed Branco. "The combination of towers and fiber optics offers data processing closer to our customers", Estefan said.
Rodrigo Abreu, CEO of Oi Brasil, said, "Oi achieved impressive results as it began executing its fiber-focused transformation plan. The company is developing one of the largest and boldest FTTH projects in the world". Algar Telecom CEO Jean Borges, a longtime Huawei partner in Brazil, reported that the company has a fiber-optic infrastructure covering 13 states.
"We are focused on user experience as a guide for service quality and modernization", he said. Ookla also mentioned the importance of user experiences. Senior Director for Latin America, Lourenço Lanfranchi said, "Ookla serves as a bridge between the consumer and the industry. Quality of experience and quality of service are key to understanding the user's perspective".
The meeting ended with the launch of the Latam Fiber Broadband Initiative, which brings together the market ecosystem to accelerate the development of fiber broadband in the continent. Bob Cai called on governments, regulators, operators and industry partners to work together to accelerate fiber broadband in Latin America and illuminate digital. "Huawei is committed to providing a simplified, intelligent and cost-effective Digital Fiber solution, helping operators to deploy FTTH networks efficiently, deliver premium user experience, implement intelligent O&M and provide various innovative services for homes and enterprises", he concluded.
Translated by: A.M