Mexico will launch today (Friday) a long-delayed tender for one of the largest infrastructure projects under President Enrique Pena Nieto, a wholesale telecoms network that will cover most of the country.
The project, which was meant to be launched by 2014, is part of a sweeping telecoms reform aimed at curbing the dominance of Carlos Slim’s America Movil and improving Mexico’s low levels of cell phone penetration and network coverage.
It offers the winner cheap use of high quality spectrum in the 700MHz band and a 20-year public-private partnership contract to build a 4G LTE mobile network that operators and virtual network operators can rent.
“Its a change in the rules of the game,” telecoms minister Monica Aspe said in an interview late on Thursday.
The government estimates that 85 percent coverage would require an investment of around $3.5 billion, while 95 percent would cost around $7 billion.
Financial Times – After an encouraging third quarter, Mexico’s economy lost steam again as the weak peso failed to give a much hoped for boost to the country’s manufacturing sector and low crude prices continued to batter the energy sector.
San Jose Mercury News -Yahoo is saying “Hasta la vista” to Mexico and Argentina. The troubled Internet search and media company said it would close what a spokeswoman called “small, sales-focused offices” in Mexico City and Buenos Aires.
Sputnik – Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has ordered to work out a series of measures to support people working in the oil industry, which has been hard-hit by the fall in oil prices. At the beginning of his term, oil exports were responsible for 40 percent of Mexico’s budget, since then the figure has gone down to 8 percent.
InSight Crime – Revelations that family members of notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán have trademarked his name for commercial use have sparked a scandal in Mexico and raised questions over who, if anyone, should benefit from a criminal’s “brand name.”
Nikkei – All Nippon Airways will start daily direct flights between Japan and Mexico in the second half of fiscal 2016, tapping surging demand for business travel as Japanese companies make inroads into the country.
Reuters – Mexico’s Grupo Financiero Banorte, the country’s fourth-largest bank by assets, reported a fourth-quarter profit of 4.94 billion pesos ($287 million). The bank, the biggest still owned by Mexicans, did not offer a comparison with the same period last year.
Reuters – Mexico’s ICA has filed a criminal complaint against employees of Deutsche Bank in a bid to prevent the bank from seizing the collateral for a now-defaulted loan to the embattled construction firm.
Dario de Mexico – The Ministry of the Interior issued a Special Emergency Declaration for 131 municipalities in the states of Aguascalientes, Baja California Sur, Baja California, Chiapas, Durango, Coahuila, Chihuahua because of severe frost.
PCWorld – Norton security experts’ 2015 report on cybersecurity reveal that 40 percent of Mexican Internet users have been victims of cybercrime, a problem that in the past 12 months cost more than 100 billion pesos ($5.46 billion).
Daily Mail – Actress Kate del Castillo is said to be furious over Sean Penn’s Rolling Stone article about their meeting with Mexican druglord El Chapo – which she knew nothing about. Sources say that the actress, whose meeting with escaped prisoner Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán aided his capture, was told nothing about it until Penn blurted it out moments before the meeting.
He’s been booked before, but a video released Wednesday is the first to show Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman being fingerprinted, standing for a mugshot and giving a blood sample.
The 19-minute video released by the Mexican attorney general’s office shows the head of the Sinaloa cartel signing documents and being questioned after his latest capture.
It shows facial comparisons using mugshots from Guzman’s first arrest in 1993 and the capo’s arrest on January 8 when the Mexican navy raided a safe house where he and another 11 people, presumably associates, were hiding.
The video authorities sent to news outlets narrates with great detail how “El Chapo” escaped from prison last July from the El Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya de Juarez.
AP – Mexico opened a formal debate on marijuana policy on Tuesday after the country’s latest drug use survey showed 17.2 percent of middle- and high-school students report having used drugs. Marijuana was the drug most frequently reported.
TeleSur – Mexico delivered birth certificates to over 7,000 indigenous people on Wednesday as part of a campaign to increase access to official documents in underserved areas. As many as 12 million people in Mexico lack a birth certificate, limiting their ability to travel and obtain social services.
Platts – Mexico on Tuesday began the partial roll-out of its day-ahead wholesale power market with prices for the northern Baja peninsula ranging from about $15.20/MWh to about $24/MWh, depending on the location and the time of day.
Sentido Comun – Empresas ICA denied that it was negotiating an agreement with corporate executives David Marinez and Emilio Abcarraga to bail it out of financial difficulties that led to default on its debt payments.
Sentido Comun – Fibra Danhos, a specialist in building and managing various real estate ventures, announced the start of operations in two of the three office towers in the Bullfight Central Park complex.