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Huawei brings 5G connectivity to Puerto Williams, the urban area of Chile located in front of Ushuaia

The Chinese company organized an event to celebrate the arrival of the technology in Puerto Williams, Chile, a coastal town in Chile located on the northern coast of Navarino Island, 1,000 km from Antarctica.

6 de August de 2023 17:12

Although it has less than 2,000 inhabitants, the government of its country granted it the status of city.

Huawei, the Chinese firm that provides information and communication technology solutions, announced the arrival of 5G to Puerto Williams , Chile, an urban center inhabited by less than 2,000 inhabitants, to which the government of its country granted the rank city, - according to the data indicated by the National Institute of Statistics of Chile -; located just 1,000 kilometers from Antarctica.

Representatives from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), UNESCO, the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Chilean telecommunications officials participated in the event, called “Connecting the Disconnected” . They discussed the achievements and challenges in the region regarding digitalization and connectivity.

Sergio Scarabino, representative for South America of the ITU , detailed the current situation of connectivity throughout America, which is in high development influenced by the United States and Canada. In this line, he highlighted different gaps that affect the development of connectivity in the region.

Among the gaps, the first is the gender gap: America is the only region where there is equality in this aspect given that women have more use of the Internet than men, although in lower-income countries the gap in access to connectivity in larger.Secondly, from ITU they considered the age gap, where a scarcity of digital skills in older adults is evident that is worrying.Thirdly, the urban-rural gap, which has a difference of 15 percentage points, given that in remote areas with low population density they are not very tempting for companies in terms of business.And finally, the affordability gap, given that compared to the prices paid in high-income economies, the mobile broadband basket costs almost 10 times more in middle-income economies, while, in the Low income counts almost 30 times more.

Challenges

Along these lines, Fernando Rojas, Coordinator of the Regional Digital Agency of ECLAC , pointed out: “ The region has many connectivity challenges, one of the main ones is the affordability gap. Some figures that are relevant and explain why there is not a higher percentage of connected is that in the region the cost of broadband can range from 44% to half of the household income. If we take as a reference the expense of other services, the impact is very high so alternatives are sought to support this connectivity "In Chile, different alternatives have been sought to subsidize demand."

Regarding UNESCO's perspective, Valtencir Mendes, head of education of the organization, considered: “Education is a lever of change that activates these objectives that we set among all the UN organizations. Connectivity is key in issues of education and lifelong learning. If we look at the region in general, there is no gender access gap, but if one goes into detail we see the types of use and digital skills in which a difference is found. One of the important ones is the low presence of women in systems careers.The percentage of women who enter and receive these degrees is low.”

Along these lines, UNESCO is leading a project for teachers in the region so that they can work and reinforce digital skills, given that they are positioned among the priority skills of the 21st century that education must have.

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By Agenda Malvinas

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