Telecommunications

According to the Federal Institute of Telecommunications, in 2012 Mexico had 306,000km of optical fiber infrastructure, of which 22,000km were owned by CFE’s network. A variety of wireless networks also existed, though not necessarily broadband networks, covering 94% of the population. Moreover, Mexico currently owns a radio satellite in orbit, with another one under construction, and two satellite system control centers. Nevertheless, the historically low investment in telecommunications infrastructure has led Mexico to have the 5th highest basic broadband services subscription costs, as well as the highest cost for megabyte per second of all OECD countries.

Additional challenges facing the Mexican telecom sector range from insufficient public and private investment per capita, low fixed and mobile broadband coverage, lack of incentives for operators to extend into rural and marginal markets. The 2013 Telecommunications Reform established an updated legal and regulatory framework meant to promote telecommunications infrastructure development and incentivize growth of the CFE fiber optic network, as well as the creation of a shared mobile service network. In fact, one of the largest investments defined by the National Infrastructure Program 2014-2018 is destined for improving Mexico’s telecommunications infrastructure, totaling US$51.8 billion for five strategic projects.

This chapter provides expert insights by law makers, regulators, and private investors involved in Mexico’s telecommunications sector. It features interviews with the main telecommunications services operators and provides first-hand information on the current state of the telecom infrastructure coming from government authorities, service providers, and specialized construction companies.

HIGHLIGHTS OF CHAPTER 9

  • The move toward optical fiber infrastructure
  • Telecommunications infrastructure development in marginal and rural areas
  • A new competitive landscape for telecom providers
  • Installation of wireless network infrastructure in public areas
  • Exploration of five key strategic projects