Category Archives: Telecom

Mexico might force Slim to split America Movil

Reuters – Mexico’s seven-person telecom regulations board voted on whether to toughen, maintain or loosen rules against America Movil and broadcaster Grupo Televisa, according to the three people, who declined to be named as deliberations were not public. Reuters could not confirm whether they decided to force Slim’s company to separate off part of Telmex. However, two of the sources said they expected the proposal was on the table.

http://fortune.com/2017/03/01/mexico-carlos-slim-telmex-america-movil/

In telecom reform, rural residents search for connection

Reuters – In remote indigenous hills, President Enrique Pena Nieto’s telecommunications reform, credited with slashing prices for many Mexicans and boosting competition against billionaire Carlos Slim’s company America Movil, is coming up short.

Almost a third of Mexico’s population is estimated to live with no mobile subscription, meaning Latin America’s second largest economy has a lower percentage of cell phone users than countries like Argentina, Uruguay and even Nicaragua.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-telecoms-idUSKCN12R0HH

Mexico’s huge television giveaway raises numerous questions

Women in the federal state of Mexico carrying digital TV sets they received from the government in December. (El Universal/Zuma Press)
Women in the federal state of Mexico carrying digital TV sets they received from the government in December. (El Universal/Zuma Press)

By Santiago Perez / Wall Street Journal

Mexico, long considered a free-market bastion in Latin America, recently carried out one of the region’s biggest government giveaways: a $1.3 billion program to hand out close to 10.5 million flat-screen television sets to the country’s poor.

The government touted the program, aimed at low-income mothers, senior citizens and other welfare recipients, as a model of social inclusion and the best way to push the country forward from analog signals into the digital age. The number of televisions given away was equal to twice the sets Mexicans normally buy in a single year.

But people with knowledge of the government’s mass purchase of the 24-inch digital TVs in 2014 and 2015 say the process was riddled with corruption in its latter stages, echoing a string of malfeasance and conflict-of-interest allegations that have rocked the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto over the past two years.

Some contracts to purchase hundreds of thousands of TVs were awarded in no-bid procedures, and a high-ranking Mexican official asked for kickbacks during the process, according to people familiar with the situation.

“It was a fraud, a whole chain of corruption,” said a person with direct knowledge of the process.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/mexicos-tv-giveaway-spawns-questions-1475103213

How Mexico went from telecom laggard to trailblazer

Tech Crunch – Twenty years ago only one of 10 people in Mexico had a telephone of any kind. Today, more than 100 million people (out of a population of roughly 125 million) have cell phones and more than 70 percent are smartphones. To keep up the torrid growth, scrappy competitors are offering smartphones for every budget and plans that let users choose right from their handsets which services they want and how much they want to spend.

https://techcrunch.com/2016/06/30/how-mexico-went-from-telecom-laggard-to-mobile-trailblazer/

Wireless spectrum auction expected to raise $2.5 billion

Reuters -Mexico’s telecoms regulator said it will raise about 45 billion pesos ($2.5 billion) over the next 15 years after an auction of wireless spectrum. The auction will allow the two participating companies, Carlos Slim’s America Movil and new rival AT&T Inc to deploy new mobile services and improve quality, the Federal Telecommunications Institute said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/mexico-telecoms-auction-idUSL2N15Y06T

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

Mexico to launch wholesale mobile network tender

To help speed the rollout and cut costs, the federal government aims to make thousands of sites on its buildings available for rent to the telecoms industry in 2016.
To help speed the rollout and cut costs, the federal government aims to make thousands of sites on its buildings available for rent to the telecoms industry in 2016.

By Christine Murray and Tomás Sarmiento / Reuters

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.

http://www.reuters.com/article/mexico-telecoms-idUSL2N15D03P