Mexico Telecoms Market Report

Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Publication Date: April 2024

Report Pages: 258

High charges dissuade Mexico’s MNOs from upcoming 5G spectrum auction

Mexico’s telecom sector retains significant potential for growth, given the population of more than 131 million and relatively low fixed and mobile penetration rates. The market is still dominated by the incumbent Telmex and by Grupo Televisa, though since 2013 measures have been enforced which are aimed at removing barriers to foreign investment and at increasing market competition. The regulator in mid-2023 extended the concessions held by América Móvil's units Telmex and Telnor for 30 years, though since the units are still considered dominant operators they must abide by regulations aimed at curbing this dominance, and to universal service and coverage obligations.

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 urban areas.

The mobile market also continues to undergo considerable changes. The MVNO segment gained significant market share in 2022, having continued to attract investment and having benefited from access to the Red Compartida wholesale mobile network. In addition, the MNOs including AT&T Mexico have ramped up their MVNO offers, which has attracted new players to the market.

The wholesale mobile network operator Altán Redes emerged from bankruptcy in November 2022, while the coverage obligations for its Red Compartida network were revised to 92.2% of the population by early 2028. Altán Redes now has the financial backing of the State, and though it provides access to networks in rural and uneconomic areas, it has no exclusivity and its partners can also augment their coverage through deals with the existing MNOs.

Developments in 5G have been slow, given the existing capacity of LTE and the delay in auctioning 5G-suitable spectrum. Telcel, AT&T, and Movistar (piggy-backing on AT&T’s network) have greatly expanded the reach of their 5G networks, but further development of the sector requires additional spectrum to provide much needed capacity. The high cost of spectrum and ongoing annual spectrum fees discouraged AT&T and Movistar from bidding in the auction expected later in 2023, meaning that potentially only Telcel will bid.

Key developments:

  • Government’s Internet Para Todos program continues to extend telecom services to the disadvantaged in rural communities.
  • Regulator faces struggle to attract bidders for late-2023 5G spectrum auction.
  • CFE Telecom contracts Viasat to provide free satellite broadband connectivity to 850 underserved communities.
  • Izzi Movil expands connectivity to new states.
  • Inter-American Telecommunications Commission to consider 3300-3400MHz spectrum for 5G services.
  • Mexico’s MVNOs broach 10.5 million subscribers.
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data report to March 2023, telcos' financial and operating data to Q2 2023, regulator’s industry revenue and investment estimates for 2023, updated Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, 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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