Joel Pacheco Gonçalves
Currently in Mexico, the telecommunications sector represents more than one million 200 thousand jobs and contributes more than 9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), in addition to contributing more than 30 percent of the foreign direct investment.
The president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, received in 2012 a country with 41 million Internet users, after five years the number grew to 74 million, while the number of Mexican households with that service has grown 51 percent.
The specialists affirm that the Telecommunications Reform was the most important success of President Enrique Peña Nieto. Before the reform, the country had highly concentrated markets, low levels of quality and service penetration. Today, telecom services reach more and more people, fixed broadband subscriptions grew 23 percent, the users with pay television grew 33 percent and the penetration in mobile broadband almost tripled (165 percent).
Here are the six pillars of the telecom reform in Mexico:
- One. The strengthening of fundamental rights
- Two. The update of the legal framework of the telecommunications sector
- Three. The strengthening of institutional bodies.
The Federal Institute of Telecommunications and the Federal Commission of Economic Competition were created as autonomous constitutional bodies.
- Four. The fostering of competition.
Today, Mexico has new players such as AT & T, Grupo Altán – Shared Network main operator – and Virtual Mobile Operators in the market).
- Five. The establishment of a Universal Digital Inclusion Policy and a National Digital Agenda.
At least 70 percent of households and 85 percent of micro, small and medium-sized businesses were expected to have High-Speed Internet).
- Six. Greater infrastructure coverage.
With the Shared Network, the largest project in the telecom sector undertaken in Mexico’s recent history. The Shared Network, or Red Compartida, through different companies, will facilitate the delivery of telecom services to 32.2 percent of the country’s population, that is more than 36 million Mexicans.
Some data to illustrate Peña Nieto’s six-year term:
- In 2024, it is expected that 92% of Mexicans will have broadband
- In the period 2012 and 2017, Internet service in households went from 7.9 million to 17.4 million households, which represents an increase of 9.5 million and half of the households in the country are connected.
- In the first quarter of 2018, the number of mobile phone lines increased by 11 million to reach a total of 115 million.
- Between the first quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2018, the GDP of the telecommunications sector grew at an average annual rate of 12.3 percent, to reach a value of 410,000 million pesos.
The data presented at the Sixth Government Report ratify that the telecommunications reform was the most successful achievement of the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto. A structural reform that provided tangible benefits to citizens, such as the elimination of national long distance charges, the arrival of new companies in the sector, such as AT&T Mexico, and the creation of new networks, such as the Shared Network.
Peña Nieto leaves with a strong pay television market. Players in this sector, such as Televisa or Megacable, have also reflected the benefits of the telecommunications reform to its end users, and even some internet content operators such as Netflix which now has Mexico as the second largest market in Latin America.