Mexico - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses
Mexico’s wholesale 700MHz network gains infrastructure sharing
With a population of around 122 million and a fixed-line teledensity of around 18%, Mexico’s fixed-line telecom sector retains significant potential for growth. The market is still dominated by the incumbent Telmex, which retains about two thirds of subscribers, while the mobile market is dominated by Telmex’s sister company Telcel, both being owned by América Móvil. The regulator determined that Telmex’s dominance warranted further regulation in certain sectors. A telecom reform law passed in mid-2013 set up a new regulator and has since enforced measures aimed at removing barriers to foreign investment and at reducing the market share of the dominant operators. These reforms will go far to making Mexico’s telecom market more competitive.
The broadband sector is one of the highest growth areas in the overall telecoms market. Although it suffers from a lack of competition, with Telmex still accounting for the lion’s share of subscribers, reform measures are aimed at reducing this to below 50%. The pay TV sector is similarly concentrated, with Grupo Televisa the dominant player in the cable TV sector as also in the satellite TV sector, where it is a major shareholder in Sky Mexico.
Despite market concentration there are significant changes under way. The main cable TV providers, Megacable and Grupo Televisa (which incorporates Cablemás and Cablevisión, among other regional players), are broadening their bundled services offerings to include cable TV, broadband and telephony, and as a result their subscriber bases have grown steadily in recent years. In addition, the entry of AT&T to the mobile market, following its acquisitions of Nextel and Iusacell, has enabled the company to build up its service offerings. On a larger scale the company is developing a regional market incorporating Mexico and the US, relying on scale to improve its competitive clout. There remains significant scope for further market development given that the country’s broadband penetration is relatively low, while consumer prices remain high.
The mobile market continues to undergo considerable changes in the wake of efforts to curb the market dominance of Telcel. AT&T Mexico now has a 12% market share while the nascent MVNO sector is slowly making gains.
The regulator has also endeavoured to encourage competition through issuing additional spectrum. Multi-spectrum auctions are expected to be held by the end of 2017, which will go far in enabling operators to improve the quality of their mobile data offerings. These auctions include 130MHz of spectrum in the 2.5GHz band.
In January 2017 the ALTAN consortium was contracted to manage a wholesale mobile network for 20 years, aimed at delivering mobile voice and data to underserved areas. The network is to be made available for use from March 2018, and will in part be based on an infrastructure sharing agreement with Telcel signed in mid-2017.
This report provides statistics and analyses on Mexico’s fixed-line market, as well as an overview of regulatory developments. In addition the report covers the broadband sector, accompanied by relevant statistical data and subscriber forecasts to 2022. The mobile sector is also assessed, including a range statistical data, subscriber forecasts and a review of the ongoing migration from 3G to LTE networks.
Telecomm-Telégrafos issues tender guidelines for contract to build a 25,000km wholesale access network;
Regulator rules that América Móvil must functionally separate its fixed-line retail and wholesale operations;
Supreme Court overturns 2014 ban on Telcel being able to charge rivals for interconnection;
ALTRAN signs infrastructure sharing deal with Telcel to develop its 700MHz wholesale network;
Telcel sells assets in eastern and northern areas;
Regulator issues plan for auction of 2.5GHz spectrum in late 2017;
More MVNOs licensed, improving market competition;
Movistar to invest MXN3 billion to expand LTE to 300 cities by 2018;
Government reduces investment in state-owned shared mobile network from $10 billion to $7 billion;
Report update includes the regulator’s market data report to March 2017, telcos’ financial and operating data to Q2 2017, market developments.
Companies mentioned in this report:
América Móvil (Telcel, Telmex), AT&T Mexico, Teléfonos de México (Telmex), Axtel, Alestra, Maxcom, Marcatel, Megacable, Cablemás, Cablevisión, Grupo Televisa, Sistemas Interactivos de Telecomunicaciones (SIT), Megafón, InterCable, CFE, AT&T Mexico (Iusacell, Nextel Mexico), Movistar (Telefónica Mexico), Globalstar, Unefón, Virgin Mobile, Weex.