The Promise of 5G in Latin America

Global Dialogue Dinner held on September 10. Left to right: Ambassador Stuart Holliday, Meridian International Center; Robert Strayer, U.S. Department of State; Margaret Peterlin, AT&T; Lori Lee, AT&T; H.E. Francisco Santos, Embassy of Colombia; Julie Chung, U.S. Department of State; H.E. Fernando Oris de Roa, Embassy of Argentina; H.E. Alfonso Silva Navarro, Embassy of Chile; Giovanna Zanelli, Embassy of Peru; H.E. Juan De Dianous Henriquez, Embassy of Panama; Juan Carlos Sanchez, Embassy of Ecuador, Karim Lesina, AT&T. Photo credit: Stephen Bobb

While 5G has arrived in pockets of the United States and South Korea, some Latin American countries are preparing for limited roll-out as early as 2020. Most conversations with telecom operators revolve around 5G trials and evaluations in nations like Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. On September 10, Meridian brought together several ambassadors from the region for a dinner to explore 5G challenges and opportunities as well as the future of the digital economy in Latin America with State Department principals and executives from AT&T.

An installment of Meridian’s Global Dialogue Series, ambassadors from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Panama joined deputy chiefs of mission from Ecuador and Peru for the salon-style dinner. Meridian President and CEO Ambassador Stuart Holliday facilitated the dialogue that touched on aspects of radio spectrum bidding and infrastructure development. AT&T Latin America CEO Lori Lee discussed how 5G will make everyday life easier in areas such as education and healthcare. Lee, who also serves as AT&T’s Chief Marketing Officer, leads the strategy, operations and marketing of providing mobile and pay-TV services to customers in the region. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Julie Chung and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Cyber Security, International Communications and Information Policy Robert Strayer shared the latest on the U.S. government’s global telecommunication priorities as well as efforts to support 5G in Central and South America.

Meridian’s Global Dialogue Series features "salon style," off-the-record conversations examining the central policy challenges facing the U.S. and world leaders. Drawing on Meridian’s unique constituencies, Global Dialogues offer both domestic and international perspectives on key issues.

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Project summary

The Promise of 5G in Latin America | September 2019
Number of Attendees: 12
Regions: Western Hemisphere
Countries: Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Panama, Peru
Impact Areas: Foreign Policy, Science and Technology
Program Areas: Diplomatic Engagement
Partners: Private Sector