lunes, 4 de noviembre de 2019

Barcelona, an open digital hub

The protagonism of Catalonia and Barcelona in the broadband development is high. We analyse in collaboration with Héctor Gasulla, Andy Causse and Adrià Laborda the broadband reality in Catalonia, focusing on its capital, which has an interesting history behind it. The importance of communication in Barcelona has been so great throughout its history. 
It is well known that telecommunication is a powerful weapon to control the public opinion from the population and manipulate information such as in the Civil War. One of the best examples were the 18th July 1936 and the May Days of 1937. Although Internet didn’t arrive until the late 1990’s, communications were so important in this period of Spain’s History. We are talking about radio, telephonic lines and telegraphs were so important these days and were used for informing the population, but also to point which are the real enemies.



During the 1930s, with the rise of fascism in Europe, the great leaders saw telecommunications as a useful media speaker that allowed them to perpetuate their demagogic discourse after the defeat of the First World War. Obviously, at that time there was no possibility of choosing the channel, but only one way of seeing what was happening was being encouraged. This indoctrination made the disappearance of any trace of critical spirit against to the power and silenced dissonant opinions.
Nowadays, Internet and the broadband are the fastest ways to send and receive information, in the Broadband Society. That’s why they are so important in an occidental city of the 21st century world. Our work will consist in an analysis of the broadband of Barcelona in the neighbourhoods of l’Eixample and Sant Martí.
The existence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in our society is a reality up to the point that it is difficult to imagine our daily life without an Internet connection. It is an essential part of our technological advance that is rapidly moving forward. Barcelona has a high-speed internet network with more than 460,000 broadband lines in 2012. However, are these innovations of the city balanced between all the neighbourhoods?
Two years ago, in the third quarter of 2017, for the first time in Spain, fiber optic lines to the home (FTTH) exceeded the xDSL lines. As we can see in the last CNMC data, the 56,1% of the fiber optic lines were from Movistar. At that moment, the number of FTTH was 6,61 million, in front of the 5,05 millions of xDSL lines. It was an historic moment of the broadband in Spain, especially in Catalonia, and it gave us a panorama that places our country in a shared scenario with the main European countries in the deployment of this new generation broadband technology.
Following CNMC (Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia), there is an example of the evolution that Spain have made in the last years. From less than a half a million FTTH lines in June 2013, Spain has made an improvement of reaching 6,61 million FTTH lines in December 2013 (when the last data was published).
As it was said in the Coverage Inquiry of the Ministry of Economy and Companies, Catalonia has a 93,7% coverage of FTTH, only as good as Madrid and Basque Country. Besides, Barcelona has a better percentage of FTTH coverage than the rest of Catalonian cities like Girona, Tarragona and Lleida. 
According to Enquesta de Serveis Municipals from 2017 a 85,7% of the population in Barcelona have a computer at home and a 85,8% of the citizens have internet connection. The difference is clear if we compare one of the richest neighbourhoods, Sarrià-St. Gervasi where a 90% of its residents have a computer at home while in Nou Barris is under the 80%.
Barcelona has an extended network of Wifi services. At the end of 2016 the city counted with a total of 1,141 points for this type of connexion and the 28.6% is offered in Eixample.
Focusing on the neighbourhood of Eixample, the use of new communication technologies (considering the percentage of the population use of Internet, social networks, mail and mobile phone) is higher in every single case than the average of the city. As explained previously, 28,6 % of all the connection points to the extended network Barcelona Wifi service is concentrated in l’Eixample, which is the highest proportion of the city. The amount of connection points has multiplied by almost 6 between 2011 and 2016. 
Taking into account the specific points of connectivity, the 87,4% of the population of L’Eixample uses Internet. Also, the 83,9% uses e-mail and the 97,5% uses mobile phone. However, “only” the 63,7% of people who live in the neighbourhood use social networks, probably due to the fact there is a higher median age than the city’s average.
Meanwhile, if you look more closely to the neighbourhood of Sant Martí,, the percentage of use of new technologies is similar to the city average in all cases, except for the use of social networks that are superior. Sant Martí has also a high percentage of connection points for the Barcelona Wifi service, with 12% of the total. The amount of connection points has doubled between 2011 and 2016.
Again, it’s important to analyse the specific points of connectivity. The 82,5% of the population of Sant Martí uses Internet. Moreover, the 76,1% uses email and 96,2% uses mobile phones. Besides, as we have seen in L’Eixample neighbourhood, less people use social networks, more specifically a 59,1% do it. Even if the median age is very similar to L’Eixample, less people have access to technology, which can explain the gap of almost 5% between L’Eixample and Sant Martí.
Therefore, l’Eixample clearly has a higher connectivity. This can be partly explained by the average level of income. In l’Eixample this average level stands at 19.3% above the Barcelona average, which is the third highest value of the 10 neighbourhoods, whereas in Sant Martí the average level of income is at the mid-low level relative to the city average, 13% below the value of Barcelona. There are also two other factors that affect the digital gap in the catalan capital (and not only between L’Eixample and Sant Martí), which are the age (already commented before) and the educational level (which is higher in L’Eixample).
5G technology will create smart environments and advanced industries that will be available to the general public and emerging economic sectors. First of all, we have to explain briefly what 5G is. It’s a new type of wireless connection, similar to 3G or 4G, that has been created for two reasons, improve the general speed (compared to 4G), and also to keep up with the proliferation of devices connected to the Internet and their needs. We are not only talking about mobiles, but also all kind of devices as computers, cars, connected fridges, prints, TVs, video surveillance cameras...
That means new professional chances for future generations. 5G will improve access to the so-called Internet of Things (IoT), increasing the creation of innovative new services as, for example, smart autonomous vehicles, drone-based services, industry 4.0 and access to remote eHealth services, improving user experience.
Cellnex Telecom and 5G Barcelona signed an agreement to develop an experimental project to test the use of 5G technology in various sectors here in Barcelona. This technological advance aims to analyse connectivity in areas such as security and emergencies. One of the purposes is to reduce the response time to possible incidents in Barcelona and solve them effectively.
The public-private initiative that has been promoted by Barcelona City Council, the Generalitat of Catalonia, Mobile World Capital Barcelona, among other entities to establish the Catalan capital in an open digital hub for the validation of 5G in a real city environment.
During the coming months, the founding members of the 5GBarcelona initiative will begin to implement the action plan that will allow the deployment of the experimental infrastructure, incorporate other companies and institutions that participate in jointly, and involve citizens in this strategic initiative that allows the 5GBarcelona to become the first Living Lab 5G in Europe and the world.
We analyze broadband evolution (here, the case of Barcelona) in this blog, in Research Group about Digital Journalism and Marketing and Broadband and in Research Group on Innovative Monetization Systems of Digital Journalism, Marketing and Tourism (SIMPED), from CECABLE, Escola Universitària Mediterrani of UdG, UPF and Blanquerna-URL, in Twitter (@CECABLEresearch), Google+, in the group of LinkedIn, in the page of LinkedIn, in the group of Facebook, in Instagram (CECABLE), in Pinterest and in this blog. We will go in deep in the XXV Cable and Broadband Catalonia Congress (31 March-1 April 2020, Barcelona).

38 comentarios:

  1. El caso de Barcelona es interesante por sus singulares características digitales. ¡Felicidades!

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    Respuestas
    1. Ciertamente, un caso a seguir. ¡Muchas gracias por tu comentario, Daniel!

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  2. Catalunya en general i Barcelona en particular han estat sempre molt avançades en tecnologia i connectivitat. Cal seguir així i no adormir-se, perquè les altres ciutats també van progressant.

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    Respuestas
    1. Sí, en banda ampla i en continguts digitals cal estar ben al cas! Moltes gràcies pel teu comentari, Sergi!

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  3. Un cas molt interessant que ens afecta directament. Som-hi!

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  4. EL crecimiento de uso de Internet exige más banda ancha. En el caso de Barcelona, eso es imprescindible.

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  5. Catalunya s'està posicionant força bé en telecomunicacions. Enhorabona per l'article!

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  6. Un articulo muy interesante, ya que no sabia las diferencias entre los diferentes barrios de Barcelona o comparando con otras ciudades de Cataluña. Sabiendo este tipo de diferencias podemos ver cómo afecta la conectividad al e-commerce porque según donde nos estemos enfocando tendremos más posibilidades de encontrar nuevos clientes. Si queremos promocionar nuestra empresa nos tendremos que enfocar en esos barrios donde sabemos que hay mas gente con ordenadores o donde ha llegado ya la fibra óptica.

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    Respuestas
    1. Ciertamente hay que luchar por un equilibrio en el acceso a la banda ancha en los diferentes barrios. ¡Muchas gracias por tu comentario!

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  7. Interessant per coneixer l'àmbit de connectivitat a Catalunya. Molt útil per l'e-commerce

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  8. Es un artículo muy interesante para concer cómo está la conectividad en la ciudad de Barcelona y en la comunidad autónoma de Barcelona. Esto nos permite conocer donde puede resultar más efectiva un comercio e-commerce.

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  9. Such an interesting article Joan Francesc!!

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  10. Un article súper interessant Francesc, si els organismes competents hi posen ganes i esforç, les possibilitats de Barcelona són infinites.

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  11. Un artículo muy interesante, realmente es increíble como está repartido por barrios y zonas y cómo es posible expandirse.

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  12. Es un artículo muy interesantes sobre un tema de gran interés en la actualidad. Podemos observar a través del artículo como Barcelona es una ciudad puntera en conectividad, y esto nos permite conocer con más exactitud donde puedo realizar un comercio e-commerce con más garantías de éxito!!

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    Respuestas
    1. Ciertamente, la conectividad favorece enormemente el desarrollo del comercio electrónico. ¡Muchas gracias por tu comentario, Sergi!

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  13. Es muy importante saber que, zonas como Barcelona y generalmente Catalunya, siempre han tenido esa suerte de ir avanzados en tecnología y conectividad. Por ello si que es verdad que muchos barrios o zonas de estos a día de hoy, no están muy avanzados, por ello hemos de fijarnos bien y presentarnos a consumidores nuevos y ganarnos a los que ya les ha llegado la fibra óptica ya que pueden ser consumidores potenciales.

    Cal seguir així i no adormir-se, perquè les altres ciutats també van progressant.

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    Respuestas
    1. El equilibrio territorial es vital. ¡Muchas gracias por tu comentario, Ingrid!

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  14. Me ha parecido un tema que está muy a la vanguardia, ha sido una lectura interesante.

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  15. Catalunya y Barcelona, deben continuar mejorando y siendo principales valedores de los avances en términos de intercomunicación y nuevas herramientas de trabajo!
    Gran articulo, mejor redactado!

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  16. Article molt interessant! Barcelona sempre ha estat molt ben connectat però s'ha de continuar millorant, amb esforç i treball s'aconseguirà!

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