One year into a global pandemic that forced nearly everyone to adapt to remote work and education, Ciena (NYSE: CIEN) conducted a survey among people living in six Latin American countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, in an effort to gather perceptions around 5G and cloud-based applications and examine the related benefits. The survey revealed the majority of people in the region feel optimistic about the advantages of 5G and many believe the technology will help bridge the digital divide.

The survey uncovered consistent results across the region, especially with regard to respondents’ interest in 5G-related topics, the pandemic’s impact on internet service needs, and the importance of cloud computing. Those polled cited “forced to work from home” (44%), “family using more bandwidth” (41%), “forced to study from home” (41%), and “entertainment consumes more data” (30%) as reasons for needing better internet service.

“5G brings a lot to the table – by providing ultra-fast connectivity, facilitating remote activities, and enabling other technologies we can all benefit from,” stated Fabio Medina, General Manager and Vice President of Sales, Latin America at Ciena. “People are in need of high bandwidth, low latency, and minimal service interruptions, and 5G is a key piece of this puzzle.”

Survey respondents were also optimistic about the technology’s societal contributions, believing that “5G will help improve quality of life for people” (84%), have a positive impact on the economy (56%), and that “5G will help bridge the digital divide by providing connectivity to more citizens” (85%). With 5G’s promise of connecting cities and driving digital transformation like never before, Latin Americans see the development of smart cities as “very attractive” (81%). Opinions show a positive outlook toward 5G’s contributions to innovation and industrial production as well.

Other survey highlights include:

  • 5G will benefit a variety of sectors, including “communication” (80%), “education/remote study” (80%), and “remote work” (77%).  
  • Latin Americans rated “faster downloads” (86%), “better video quality/stability” (85%), and “virtual reality/augmented reality development” (70%) as “very attractive” 5G developments.
  • 41% of Latin Americans believe they will have access to 5G within one year.
  • At least 80% of those surveyed stated they “constantly” or “sometimes” had problems with lag/latency/delay, bad audio/video quality, service interruptions, and file download delay when working with cloud-based applications.
  • 80% of Latin Americans feel they need better internet service, and 68% are willing to pay more for less delay in their internet service.
  • When asked which device they would be willing to give up, nearly a third of survey participants replied, “landline phone.” Contrarily, if users had to choose one device to keep, Latin Americans overwhelmingly chose their mobile phone (70%).
  • 69% of those polled stated that they “trust” cloud-based applications.
  • 64% of respondents strongly agree that further advancements in telecommunications will result in better levels of security of their private information.

Given the existing optimism, and a need and desire for fast speeds and low latency, there is no doubt that Latin America has a lot to look forward to when it comes to 5G deployment and use of edge cloud applications.

About the “Connecting Latin America” Survey
Ciena commissioned independent survey firm Luis Costa & Asoc to conduct a survey of 6,000 citizens of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, evenly distributed among each of the countries’ five largest cities. Responses distributed across gender, age, socio-economic level, and city of residence were evaluated within each country.

About Ciena
Ciena (NYSE: CIEN) is a networking systems, services and software company. We provide solutions that help our customers create the Adaptive NetworkTM in response to the constantly changing demands of their end-users. By delivering best-in-class networking technology through high-touch consultative relationships, we build the world’s most agile networks with automation, openness and scale. For updates on Ciena, follow us on Twitter @Ciena, LinkedIn, the Ciena Insights blog, or visit www.ciena.com.

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