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The challenges of Sandra Urrutia in front of the ICT Ministry • ENTER.CO

The newly appointed Minister of ICT receives a very important portfolio for the new government. The challenges of Sandra Urrutia at the head of the ICT Ministry are important in the face of the digital needs of Colombia.

The latest scandals have hit the image of the ICT Ministry in a major way, especially with the case of the Digital Center that left the previous administration. In addition to that, the new minister has other challenges that seem to be somewhat urgent for the country. Her experience in entities such as the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce, as well as in the Vice Ministry of Connectivity and Digitization of the ICT Ministry, will be key to facing these challenges for Sandra Urrutia in this ministry:

1.- Eliminate legal uncertainty and restore confidence in the ICT Ministry

After the scandal of Karen Abudinen with the Digital Centers, the new minister has the challenge of recovering the country’s confidence in this Ministry. So it will be key to offer legal certainty in all her decisions. GSMA and the Colombian Mobile Industry Association (Asomóvil) proposed to the new government. Foster collaborative governance and smart deregulation. This implies reviewing the regulations and having a balance between the actors in the sector.

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2.- Spectrum auction for 5G

Although the road is already ready for the implementation of the 5G connectivity network, the auction is needed. So, Sandra Urrutia has in her hands the task of promoting this auction and advancing the different pilots in the country. It is expected that by 2027, the 5G network will represent 44% of mobile subscribers in Latin America.

3.- More inclusive spectrum

Mauricio Ramos, leader of Tigo, recently said that the cost of spectrum in Colombia “is unsustainable” with a view to renewal next year. He said that in Colombia it is three or four times more expensive, in relation to other countries. These costs would be responsible for delaying the deployment of the 4G network in Colombia by two years. The same could happen with the long-awaited 5G network.

4.- The mess of Digital Centers

Already known to all, the mess of Digital Centers requires a forceful response for citizens. Recovering all of the 70,000 million pesos is a requirement, although zone B has already been awarded to the Temporary Union between ETB and Skynet. The previous administration advanced a series of auctions of the assets of that contractor, but it has not yet been enough.

5.- Entrepreneurship

Colombia has the challenge of promoting incentives to increase the number of start-ups. Now in a more challenging scenario because entrepreneurs must face an increasingly restrictive scenario to access venture capital funds. Thus, the MinTIC would have to strengthen programs such as APPS.CO, which is the Government’s initiative to promote digital entrepreneurship.

Image: Archive

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