Mexico Telecoms Market Report

Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 9 Dec 2021 Update History

Report Pages: 239

Mexican Senate proposes new regulator to merge the antitrust, telecom and energy agencies

With a population approaching 125 million and with relatively low broadband and mobile penetration, Mexico’s telecom sector retains significant potential for growth. The market is still dominated by the incumbent Telmex and by Grupo Televisa, which together retain about two thirds of subscribers overall. A sector regulator set up in 2013 has enforced measures aimed at removing barriers to foreign investment and at reducing the market share of these dominant operators. The reforms are helping to make Mexico’s telecom market more competitive.

The Senate’s multi-party coordination body in 2020 proposed a merger between three agencies – COFECE, the IFT and the CRE – into a single agency, which would require an amendment to articles 27 and 28 of the Constitution. Such a merger could make the market less competitive, and discourage foreign investment.

In the fixed broadband sector significant changes are underway, with the main cable TV providers Megacable and Grupo Televisa widening their bundled services offerings, and with some important market consolidation. The fibre sector has shown particularly strong growth during the last two years as the key operators expand their network reach beyond the core densely urban areas.

The mobile market also continues to undergo considerable changes in the wake of regulatory efforts to curb the market dominance of Telcel. Although the MVNO segment has only a very small market share, it continues to attract investment, and new players enter the market each year. A wholesale mobile network operating in the 700MHz band was set up in 2018 and is expected to reach the vast majority of the population by 2025. However, the company charged with managing the network secured bankruptcy protection in late 2021, giving it some breathing space to address its financial difficulties.

Developments in 5G have been slow given the existing capacity of LTE, though the auction of spectrum in the 600MHz band (among the first globally) later in 2021 will stimulate the sector as operators launch services.

Key developments:

  • Wholesale mobile network provider ALTAN Redes secures bankruptcy protection;
  • Senate proposes merger between the agencies COFECE, IFT and CRE;
  • Multi-spectrum auction is concluded, raising only MXN1.35 billion;
  • IFT proposes measures to expedite 5G rollouts;
  • AT&T Mexico returns a portion of its mobile spectrum in the 800MHz band;
  • Movistar relinquishes its 1900MHz and 2500MHz spectrum concessions;
  • Telcel acquires another 50MHz of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band from Axtel;
  • Codi enables consumers to make NFC and QR payments via their mobile banking apps;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data report to December 2020, telcos' financial and operating data to Q3 2021, updated Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of Covid-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

América Móvil (Telcel, Telmex), Megacable, Cablemás, Cablevisión, Grupo Televisa, Maxcom, Sistemas Interactivos de Telecomunicaciones (SIT), Axtel, Megafón, InterCable, CFE, , AT&T Mexico (Iusacell, Nextel Mexico), Movistar (Telefónica Mexico), Globalstar, Unefón, Virgin Mobile, Weex, Alestra, Maxcom, Marcatel.

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