Telefónica and Facebook connect LatAm’s unconnected

Telefónica and Facebook connect LatAm’s unconnected

Telefónica has presented "Internet Para Todos", a new initiative to connect more than 100 million people in Latin America to the Internet.

The initiative is designed to remedy the fact that 20% of the population in the region today still lacks proper access to mobile broadband.

With "Internet Para Todos", Telefónica is expanding connectivity with an ecosystem approach, incorporating a broad range of partners and stakeholders to solve the rural connectivity challenge.

Telefónica is working, jointly with Facebook, on multiple projects using new technologies and operating models to make wireless broadband deployment more cost-effective. These projects are already making high-speed mobile Internet available to tens of thousands of Peruvians across the highlands and in the Amazonian rainforest.

Using an open approach to network deployment, both companies are empowering rural mobile infrastructure operators, local entrepreneurs and communities to collaborate in delivering high-quality connectivity in an efficient and sustainable manner.

Telefónica and Facebook started working together in 2016 through the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), an industry initiative to disaggregate traditional network hardware and software. By early 2017, the pair started collaborating on how to address the un(der)-connected throughout rural and suburban Peru.

The companies developed high-definition population density and artificial intelligence tools to prioritise connectivity deployments in remote low-density areas and shared their learnings publicly through TIP.

Recently, the team began testing the ability to stretch the capabilities of existing technologies, such as microwave, and exploring new Radio Access Network (RAN) solutions such as Parallel Wireless programmable Open RAN technologies.

In a pilot, these connect remote communities in Peru with 3G and 4G wireless based on General Purpose Processing Platforms. The pilot demonstrates the maturity of the technologies to provide cost-effective connectivity in low-density areas. Telefonica is also testing Facebook’s OpenCellular LTE RAN platform.

Additionally, Telefónica is experimenting with other disruptive technologies such as sustainable power solutions and alternative vertical infrastructure.

“Developing new technology is just one part of the equation. We also need to explore new business models and cooperate with other service providers and regulators to make the investment required sustainable”, commented Telefónica Chief Innovation Officer, Gonzalo Martín-Villa. “These innovations are the foundation of the next generation networks and services that will benefit the whole industry and, above all, society.”

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