Cloud services and the data economy are making their way into the rural world. In this context, it will be very important Hundreds of mini data centers which are already distributed in small towns throughout the national territory and whose systems are evolving to expand the services they provide to local businesses and entrepreneurs (virtual switchboards, office connection, server hosting …). «We have the necessary infrastructureand data centers in small towns. It’s not huge, but it’s a place to go to the Internet with the ability to send and manage data, which has refrigerators and electrical supplies,” says Aotec Vice President Maria Jesus Kahoe.
All this, in a context in which the moment of truth is approaching for 5G to become permanently independent of 4G technology and to expand exponentially, through 5G SA (“Stand-alone”), this does not mean anything other than much lower data latency and, above all, the advent of private (commercial) networks, cloud services and the Internet of Things (IoT, for short) that the connection of autonomous and home vehicles, devices, batteries, etc. Larger than capillaries for antennas and data centers. “The biggest advantage over our competitors is physical proximityBecause telecom services need information to flow faster,” adds Juan Junqueira who explains that proximity works in the interests of these operators when it comes to data exchange and cost reduction.
Junquera, also associated with AOTEC, believes it is a very interesting option for the rural business fabric, which is closely related to the agri-food business.
In this line, CEO Golden Telecom, Aurelio Louro, whose company provides service in Pontevedra County, carrying optical fibers to 150 small population centers, some of which have a population of only 300. Owner of three small data centers, where they house data from local companies –“It is an increasingly requested servicealso by entrepreneurs,” comments Louro- This also allows entrepreneurs to increase storage capacity as they need it.
Says the president of Áurea Telecom, who cites as an exampleThe emergence of private business networks. In other words, the data that will be generated by all connected devices (mobile phones, vehicles, alarms, …) will be stored in the Internet of Things closer and will be more “smarter”, and will perform faster actions. However, both Louro and Cahué believe that for this to be possible, the ideal situation would be to modify the regulation of the radio spectrum to “open” it to third parties (domestic operators). “They are not interested and therefore can avoid competition”criticizes Cahué in reference to major telecom companies.
CEO of a company Connect 3 TelecomJorge Navarro, “The local operator is distinguished by the affinity that the big operator loses and the ability to provide immediate technical assistance, because we have staff on the ground.” This small operator has seven small data centers in cities within Alicante, such as Pinoso. Specifically, the service is provided to six municipalities in the area and four districts with a population of between 700 and 8000 inhabitants. Like his counterpart from Pontevedra, he also appreciates his commitment to local talent to nurture his teams. “We continue to promote this local hiring, People from the towns in which we operate and whom we will train in maintenance,” Kouhei defends.
Battle of the last mile
Among the local operators, they are aware of the challenges that lie ahead. AOTEC estimates that there will be in the future More than 1500 data centers (of a very small size in many cases) which, in the words of the vice-president of this association, “will be necessary to provide everything necessary, so that they are relied upon when managing the data generated by new IoT technologies.” In his opinion, “all Something will depend on the last mile.”
But what changes are introduced by local operators? Above all, Cahué asserts, Investments in software and hardware To be able to equip itself with additional service layers. For example, at Connect 3 Telecom they are already exploring “the capabilities of LoRaWAN (radio frequency) networks to support the development of connected devices in municipalities and the agricultural sector (vineyards, olive groves)”.