At the first 'Americas' version of the Mobile World Congress (MWC), which took place in September 2017 in San Francisco, attendees who had subscriptions with US hotspot operators AT&T, Boingo, Charter Communications, Shaw, Sprint, Telus and T-Mobile, were able to enjoy instant access to Wi-Fi without manually switching their devices from 4G to Wi-Fi and without having to enter a different password for every Wi-Fi zone at the event.
This was possible due to the use of Next Generation Hotspots (NGH), and prior agreement between the event organizers (GSMA and CTIA) and the above operators. Above all, it serves as an example of how Wi-Fi could have a role in 5G networks.
However, using this high-profile event in the US to showcase the modernity and benefits of NGH potentially draws us away from the fact that mobile network operators and Wi-Fi specialists in Latin America have been upgrading to NGH for several years.
Furthermore, there have already been concrete cases of Latin American operators running 5G trials, or at least deploying network overlays and small cells that will likely have an eventual role in 5G.
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