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Blog  |  08.07.2019

Connectivity as an Opportunity for Development

The workshop "Women in Convergence", led by Ms. Elizabeth Peña Jáuregui, opened the event and addressed the progress of the telecommunications sector and its relationship with women.

Connectivity as an Opportunity for Development
Elizabeth Peña Jáuregui, Telecommunications and Gender Inclusion Specialist

At the World Trade Center in Mexico City, ConvergenciaShow.Mx 2019 had its initial day dedicated to women in the sector that began with the training workshop “Women in Convergence”, conducted by Ms. Elizabeth Peña Jáuregui, specialist in Telecommunications and Gender Inclusion, which addressed issues such as digital society, industry 4.0 with a gender vision, new technologies, 5G and gender equity in telecommunications.

“The digital society is one that is already connected and has the capacity to communicate at a distance and bring those who are far away closer. We are immersed in a digital world with new technologies but that still presents challenges such as connectivity, which is essential for all this development,” said Peña Jáuregui and highlighted in this the great amount of demand for data and mobility since we are moving towards a world where it will gain more audience in content where it will capture users and next consumers.

This benefits us in communication, health, transport, environment, distance education, mobile banking and e-commerce, among others. “These advantages of the digital society have challenges: growing demand, digital environment, new ways to compete and digital divides,” he said. He also highlighted the role of the regulator, the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT), in managing and allocating the spectrum correctly, as well as its planning and effective competition from market players, with public/private partnerships such as the creation of wholesale carriers.

“In the end it is not about giving more spectrum allocation to operators so that hoarding does not grow. It is about competition. Then the effective administration of the spectrum will give us greater benefit for society,” he explained. Although he claimed that in the face of a great demand for data, it is necessary a greater infrastructure, networks and antennas, which imply 68% of the costs of a network.

“We need to attract investment and generate new operators and players with the generation of new business models to reach the small populations of the country,” he said, since infrastructure is the basis for future connectivity and without this investment in “hardware” there is no future for 5G, nor reduction of the digital divide.

Also the networks must be secure to protect privacy, since we are immersed in a technology where the digital environment has a privacy around our information as users. That is why operators, the government and public policy must be technologically prepared for what the future will hold in terms of the digital environment and demand.

After commenting on the Cloud, Big data and Artificial Intelligence, Elizabeth Peña Jáuregui said that we are facing “a hyperconnected future, since 9 out of 10 telecommunications will be M2M, with lower latency, lower energy consumption and greater speed and efficiency in connections: 5G that will make the Internet of Things more efficient.

The role of women in the industry

Women represent 23% of the telecommunication workforce according to data from the IFT, which makes evident the low gender strength in CTIM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Equity is a new path to inequality, ORG data shows that 20% of the graduates are women in engineering and there are no more because there is no adequate information. “We must encourage the new generations to take risks in CTIM, in a world where 51.5% are Internet users with digital skills but not direct actors, with technological skills,” said Peña Jáuregui.

The workshop presenter pointed out that the small number of women in the telecommunications sector as decision-makers may be part of the “impostor syndrome”, self-sabotage when they do not feel sufficiently capable of having responsibilities, such as limitations and crushing fears. Although this syndrome is shared by both genders, it is deepened in certain female decision makers.

In this sense, he insisted on taking responsibility by being pragmatic, simple and easy to understand. And to always have a plan of action that avoids mistakes and misunderstandings.

The empowerment of women is not only in telecommunications but in life and taking the reins to assume things with confidence to be protagonists. Also be resilient and seek support from people.

New skills without infrastructure

Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Alibaba are the six largest companies in the world, but none of them have any infrastructure. We have to pay special attention to these new forms of competition, which had vision. “However, these companies are part of a telecommunications environment, which without infrastructure falls apart,” said Peña Jáuregui. That is why investment in telecommunications and connectivity is an opportunity for the development of the economy, where operators in this sector are the means for communication.

Technological neutrality

“It is very serious for a country to break with technological neutrality with the case of the United States and Huawei, as it is anti-competitive,” exclaimed the presenter. We have to ensure this technological neutrality in this digital environment, because the more competition, the higher the quality, and the greater the benefits for users, explained Peña Jáuregui. That is why our regulator needs to defend and promote network neutrality.

“These are aspects that an optimal digital environment should exist, such as technology and network privacy and cyber security to protect data,” he said.