COVID-19 has induced social distancing, quarantine, and isolation, but in the same way has enabled the consolidation of telework, e-commerce, telemedicine, and of course e-learning.
In this sense, Teleweek and Telecom 2020 have been developed, in order to allow researchers to share the results of their work with academia, and at the same time keep our IEEE ComSoc members updated with knowledge related to trending topics in Communications.
IEEE ComSoc Ecuador decided, as the primary aim, to join efforts with the IEEE ComSoc Student Chapters, and this proposal has been quite effective from February. After several meetings, it was decided to join efforts to have a dedicated week in order to celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. We were planning to invite a Distinguished Lecturer (DL), in the DL Tour; to do that, we maintained contact with IEEE ComSoc Chile, as Professor Ekram Hossain was available for traveling to these countries and on those dates. Due to Covid-19, the DL tour was suspended, and we decided to stop the organization of this activity, waiting to see how the pandemic developed.
TeleWeek, Our First Webinar
In the IEEE Ecuador Section there appeared the first proposal of webinars, which was developed by the Computer Society. We decided to follow this initiative, and proposed TeleWeek. This event was co-organized with the support of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS), and we presented five researchers associatedwith: Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas – ESPE (Ecuador); King Juan Carlos University (España); University of Windsor (Canada); Tianjin University of Technology; and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (España). These talks were developed from 13 to 17 April.
The picture of Teleweek promotional material shows the professionals who were part of TeleWeek, with themes related to communications and bioengineering fields. Our first talk was with Dr. Gonzalo Olmedo, who spoke about “Emergency Warning System for Digital Terrestrial Television ‘’. The second talk was about “Practical Approaches to Identify Users in the Radio Spectrum’’ by Dr. Danilo Corral. Another interesting topic was related to the medical field and machine learning techniques entitled “BigMed+ Machine Learning and Data Science in Cardiology’’ by Dr. José Luis Rojo. On our fourth presentation day, Dr. Xun Luo spoke about “Digital City Simulation and its Application for Communications”. Finally, TeleWeek was concluded with the theme “Blockchain in Health Emergencies’’ by Eng. Ignasi Oliva. Attendance of Teleweek reached a peak of 110 people, with a mean of 100 people per day. The largest percentage of attendees was from Ecuador, followed by Colombia and Perú.
Telecom 2020, Celebrating the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day
We decided to maintain our previous planning in order to celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, but now with virtual attendance. Telecom 2020 was organized in coordination with ComSoc Student Chapters of the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja- UTPL; Universidad Politécnica Salesiana - UPS; Universidad Técnica del Norte - UTN; Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral - ESPOL; Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas – ESPE; and the participation of IEEE Young Professionals R9. A total of five Universities, 10 volunteers, and 17 researchers participated in this event related to 5G, optical networks, and IoT, among others.
Telecom was divided into five days from 18 to 22 May, and scheduled in order to make it possible for all ComSoc Ecuador Student Chapters to participate.
The first day was organized by IEEE ComSoc Ecuador, and we presented “Workshop on the Benefits of Being Part of IEEE ComSoc” by Nury Ramirez (ComSoc Director); Andrés Navarro (DLT and DSP Coordinator); Gidy Flores (Student Activities); and Ricardo Veiga (ComSoc’s Board of Governors).
We had the honor of presenting Dr. Ekram Hossaim with the talk “Radio Resource: Allocation in the beyond 5G Era: Promises of Deep Learning and Deep Reinforcement Learning”. Dr. Hossain’s lecture was phenomenal, the audience was very enthusiastic to interact, and many questions were answered.
On the second day, we had the participation of three researchers from UPS and ESPE universities. We started with Dr. Mónica Huerta with the topic “Impact of Telecommunications on Biotechnology”. Telemedicine and its relationship with the pandemic positioned it as a topic of interest with high impact. Then Eng. Renato Cumbal spoke about “Reinforcement Learning Applications” in which algorithms to solve computational intelligence problems were discussed. Finally, it ended with Eng. Darwin Alulema with the topic “IoT, Service, and Event-based Architectures”, in which the architecture of IoT and cloud computing platforms were analyzed. On this day, the ESPE’s ComSoc student chapter was in charge of the event organization.
On the third day, UPS’s ComSoc student chapter was in charge of the event organization. On this day we started with Dr. Germán Arévalo with the talk “Optical Networks Evolution in Ultra-connectivity New Era”. Then, Dr. Vinicio Carrera presented an interesting topic related to “Radar Detection” by using machine learning. Finally, Eng. Diego Freire presented the topic “New Trends in SDWAN”, a discussion about whether software can overcome hardware. These researchers were from UPS and ESPE universities.
On the fourth day, we had the participation of researchers and volunteers fromUTPL University who were in charge of the day. We started with Eng. Manuel Quiñonez with the topic “Wireless Technologies by Using SDR and Open Source”. Then Dr. Katty Rohoden spoke about “Covid-19: Implications for Telecommunication Operators”, explaining how the pandemic has put pressure on telecommunications systems. Finally, Dr. Francisco Sandoval spoke on the topic “Telecommunications: Opportunities in Pandemic Time”.
On our final conference day, we had the participation of researchers from UTN and ESPOL, and UTN volunteers were in charge of the session. We started with Eng. José Marcillo, who spoke on the topic “CNT-EP Connecting Ecuador in Pandemic Times”. Then Eng. Ernesto Serrano spoke on the topic “5G and Something More”, a trending topic about how to implement this technology in developing countries. Finally, Eng. Alexander Trejo spoke on the topic “Business Opportunities Generation”, which presented a vision for entrepreneurs.
Some Statistics of Telecom
Attendance at Telecom exceeded our expectations. There were 630 registered attendees, from 15 countries, with Ecuador contributing 82.7 percent of the attendees. In the institution graph, there was a record 100 different institutions, with the largest number of attendees belongs to the academy. As for the statistics of the attendees with membership, approximately 30 percent were IEEE members, 47 percent were not IEEE members, and 22 percent were interested in joining IEEE ComSoc.
These statistics motivate us to continue our work and we take advantage of this article to thank the volunteers who collaborated with the organization of this event, the speakers who dedicated their time to share their knowledge, and all the attendees!