Chile is looking to accelerate an ambitious mobile 5G rollout plan across most of the country within the scope of two years, Telecommunications Undersecretary Pamela Gidi told Reuters earlier this week, noting the importance of tightly overseeing cybersecurity in the process.
As the world looks tentatively to the U.S. and China’s trade, cybersecurity, and data protection spats, Chile is taking advantage of this time to steam forward with its 5G plans, considering that both countries’ telecoms industries would be on level playing fields if they adhere to the Latin American country’s strict rules.
These strict regulations and rules are considered vital in keeping the country’s vendor-neutral demeanor.
“As long as (the regulations) are respected, we neither have nor are we going to influence the supply chain nor the nationality of the companies,” Gidi told Reuters.
The 5G security concerns, which were ignited by the Trump administration’s trade spat with China, includes espionage, sabotage, and blackmail. The U.S. government considers Huawei as a security risk and has urged allies to shun its equipment over fears it could serve as a Trojan horse for Chinese intelligence services.
It is notable that the short two-year timetable would propel Chile ahead of its Latin American counterparts, as Gidi hopes to attract Amazon Web Services to the country, seeing that the e-commerce titan has numerously hinted of constructing a southern cone data center in Chile or Argentina.
“We think obviously (5G deployment) can help in the decision of Amazon and other companies that in the future decide settle in Chile,” she noted to Reuters.
With that in mind, WOM, a mobile telephone brand launched by London-based investment firm Novator Partners, won a government tender in February to establish a 5G spectrum in Chile, in addition to Spain-based Movistar and the Chilean telecoms firm Entel.
A Myriad of Chilean market analysts have speculated that WOM will hire China’s Huawei to deliver 5G telecom equipment and kits.
Gidi stressed to Reuters that WOM was at liberty to choose the best vendor that would complement the roll-out efforts as cited within the terms of its contract. “We give freedom to the companies that concession the spectrum to make their commercial decisions freely provided the (cybersecurity) technical standards are respected,” she added.