AT&T can’t break Slim’s grip on Mexico’s wireless industry

The IFT plans to review and analyze the effect of dominance rules on America Movil in March.
The IFT plans to review and analyze the effect of dominance rules on America Movil in March.

By Patricia Laya / Bloomberg

Change is happening in Mexico’s telecommunications industry, though not fast enough for AT&T Inc.

Laws introduced almost two years ago to give wireless customers more choices have done little to dent dominant provider America Movil’s market share, according to Thaddeus Arroyo, AT&T’s most senior executive in Mexico.

“Two years into regulatory reform the preponderant agent has more customers than when they started,” Arroyo said in an interview. “The real question — and it’s for the regulator to determine — what additional conditions are needed to drive change faster?”

AT&T is seeking to frame the debate just weeks before the government reviews whether the laws backed by President Enrique Pena Nieto in 2014 have met their goals to increase competition. And while costs to consumers have come down in the wireless industry, America Movil still has about 70 percent of all mobile phone contracts in Mexico and 62 percent of fixed lines, according to datafrom the federal telecommunications regulator known as IFT.

While AT&T is the second-biggest wireless carrier in the larger U.S. market, it’s a distant third in Mexico, where it has spent $4.4 billion on acquisitions since 2014 and has pledged to invest $3 billion more in its network.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-02/at-t-to-mexican-regulators-we-need-more-to-end-slim-s-dominance

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