Nicaragua has opened a new international study center designed to train engineers from Central America and the Caribbean in broadband technology.
The center, where as many as 12,000 engineers are be trained in the near future, is partly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) as part of its broader plan to bolster Internet services across Latin America.
The IDB and South Korea have lent US$3.2 million to fund the center, which is in the Nicaraguan capital Managua.
The Group Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA), which serves on the Technical Advisory Group for the Broadband Center, is devising courses for government officials on the topics of “Spectrum Management” and “Mobile for Socio-Economic Development.”
GSMA says the training courses will be conducted at the centre and also online. Analysts say training government officials is vital to boosting infrastructure in the region.
“The aim is to increase the capacity of government officials to identify regulatory and other constraints, and train them on specific issues that foster investment and promotion of sustainable competition,” said Antonio García Zaballos, Lead Specialist of Communications, IDB.
Mobile broadband has proved to be a huge success in Latin America. The region had 234 million mobile broadband connections as of March 2014 and this is forecast to grow by 30% per annum over the next five years.
According to GSMA, fixed broadband remains a little expensive in Latin America but mobile will continue to play a major role in bringing internet access to the mass market.
Technology experts have often said that broadband penetration has the ability to drive economic and social development in the region.
“The Centre will be a hub for the regional dialogue on topics related to broadband, where specific worldwide experiences and lessons learned will be presented and discussed,” Zaballos added.