IEEE Latin-American Conference on Communications 2020 (LATINCOM)

By Carlos Lozano - Universidad de los Andes, Colombia, Fabrizio Granelli - University of Trento, Italy, Gidy Carolina Florez Navarro - Brazilian Center for Research in Physics (CBPF), Brasil, Nury Gabriela Ramirez Cely - Continental Automotive, Mexico, Octavia Dobre - Memorial University, Canada and Oscar Caicedo - Universidad del Cauca, Colombia

IEEE LATINCOM 2020 was originally planned to be held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, but was held online due to the pandemic outbreak from November 18 to November 20, 2020. Still, this flagship communications conference for the Latin America region was able to attract 144 submissions, 67 of those accepted for the main technical program of the conference. Quite an achievement! As a result, international authors from more than 20 countries around the world discussed their most recent advances in the field of communications in the three-day event.

Mohamed-Slim Alouini presenting a keynote on Tethered Networked Flying Platforms.

The final technical program consisted of 18 Technical Sessions, seven Keynotes, two tutorials, and one Young Professional Panel. Keynotes presentations covered the hottest and most interesting advances in telecommunications, including: tethered networked flying platforms, application-driven network slicing, IoT for healthcare, smart cities, IoT, IRTF activities and QUIC transport protocol.

Co-located with the main conference, a competition targeted to young Society members called “LATINCOM Hackathon” was held, where teams were challenged to create solutions to local problems with the help of their telecommunications skills. The guidelines of this competition followed the same of the IEEE ComSoc Student Competition, to motivate students and Young Professionals from Region 9 to have an experience in how to elaborate their ideas and encourage them to participate with their projects implemented in the future In the next editions of this ComSoc competition. The competition had the support of the R9 IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee as well as THE IEEE ComSoc LA region. The three best ideas and their technical solutions were awarded with prizes, sponsored by the Membership Development Support Grant from the IEEE Comsoc Member Services Board.

The competition had the support of various professionals in the telecommunications area and IEEE ComSoc volunteers who provided their time to mentor the teams on the technical structure of the projects. A total of seven teams (24 participants) from six countries submitted their projects in the following areas: cybersecurity, E-health, FTT-GPON, sensors and Internet of Things. There were many interesting ideas we expect to be implemented soon. The top three projects were:

  • Sustainable Pluviometric Monitoring Network for Agriculture. Team “Sem Fronteiras” (Brasil): Gustavo Viana Penido (Universidade de Brasília), Carlos Alexandre de Almeida Pires (Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora), Gabrielle Cristina de Souza Silva (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro).

  • Monitoring System to Optimize Water Use in the Agricultural Sector Based on IoT. Team “SIMAGRA” (Ecuador): Andrea Villa, Daniel Almeida, Katherine Fajardo, Pedro Pineda. Universidad Politécnica Salesiana - Cuenca.

  • Design of an IOT System for Monitoring the Bahuaja Sonene National Park. Team “ZAMZ” (Peru): Luis Zuazo Cuenca, Joshua Mayta Taboada, Franco Apolinario Soto, Kevin Sedano Gonzalez. Universidad Nacional del Callao.

Overall, the conference was attended by 123 registered participants, who were able to interact through a dedicated online social platform ( during the conference and to appreciate the technical content for an entire month after its official closing ceremony.

IEEE LATINCOM 2021 will be held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, as was originally planned for 2020. We hope that next November an easing of the pandemic will allow international travel in safety. You are all welcome to attend this great event in a great location!