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Report Published: "Mexico Telecommunications Report Q1 2014"

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2013-12-23 16:51:19 - Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Mexico Telecommunications Report Q1 2014", is now available at Fast Market Research

Compared with its Latin American counterparts, Mexico's telecoms market is underdeveloped, with low penetration rates, high tariffs and a lack of competition as America Movil dominates the market through its Telmex and Telcel subsidiaries. New reforms signed into law in July are aimed at introducing a higher level of competition, although it is likely to be some time before the full effects of these reforms materialise. Nevertheless, operators remain optimistic about the changes, with Iusacell revealing plans to triple its market share over three years.

Key Data

* In Q213, Cofetel revealed there were 102.3mn mobile subscribers in the country, taking the penetration rate up to 91.9%.
* The fixed-line market recorded 20.1mn lines in service at the end of December

2012, year-on-year (y-o-y) growth of 2.1%.
* Cofetel revealed there were more than 45.107mn internet users in Mexico at the end of 2012. There was no new regulatory data for internet subscriptions - we believe there were 13.8mn internet subscriptions excluding 3G mobile subscriptions at the end of 2011.

Full Report Details at
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Risk/Reward Ratings

Mexico is in first place in the Q413 rankings, with a score of 62.4.
Key Trends & Developments

A new bill signed into law by President Enrique Pena Nieto in June 2013 has paved the way for the creation of a new autonomous regulatory authority, the Federal Telecommunications Institute (Ifetel), which was formally established in September 2013. Ifetel has been imbued with more powers than the previous regulator Cofetel, to classify as 'dominant' any operator with over 50% market share. In practice, it has been given 180 days to carry out this classification process, which means the repercussions of the telecoms reform will not be relevant until at least 2014. Ifetel's powers will allow it to impose punitive sanctions on any company that resists competition, which include asymmetric termination rates, fines and even asset sales. Whether or not the targeted companies will submit to Ifetel without costly legal disputes, remains to be seen, and we remain cautious until then. By mid-October 2013, Ifetel was reported to have made little progress in terms of the above.

Following on from its inauguration in September 2013, one of Ifetel's first tasks will be to implement of the must-carry and must-offer rules. A must-offer obligation would require free-to-air broadcasters to make their channels available free to competitors, while a must-carry commitment would require pay-TV operators to provide free-to-air TV channels on their platforms. Although Ifetel has attracted criticism in the local media for apparently dragging its heels, there are a number of secondary laws as part of the overall telecoms reform that will not be completed until December 2013.

The Mexican Secretario de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT) revealed in mid-September 2013 that it had made a deal with incumbent operators to reclaim spectrum in the 2.5GHz band, with a view to auctioning 2.5GHz and 700MHz spectrum for 4G wireless services. The following month, it was reported the SCT had reclaimed 68% of the 2.5GHz spectrum, after nine concession holders voluntarily surrendered a cumulative total of 130MHz of spectrum in the band. The two licensees holding the remaining 60MHz are required to convert their concessions to a 'single licence' by the end of December 2016 or acquire the necessary licences for offering additional services. As part of Mexico's extensive telecoms reforms, individual licences for pay-TV, broadband and telephony are to be replaced by a single licence allowing operators to offer a wider range of services. BMI believes this is an important step in levelling out the playing field in the Mexican telecoms market. However, Ifetel has yet to determine the process involved for multiple licence-holders to convert to a single licence.

Virgin Mobile Latin America (VMLA) has announced plans to launch operations in Mexico during 2014, according to the company founder Richard Branson. Virgin will likely partner with an existing mobile network operator to form an MVNO arrangement, marking its fourth market in the region following agreements in Colombia, Chile and Brazil. Mexico's MVNO market has yet to take off. However, BMI argues that major reforms to the telecoms industry and a focus on the youth segment could see Virgin Mexico have significant growth potential over the long term.

About Business Monitor International

Business Monitor International (BMI) offers a comprehensive range of products and services designed to help senior executives, analysts and researchers assess and better manage operating risks, and exploit business opportunities, across 175 markets. BMI offers three main areas of expertise: Country Risk BMI's country risk and macroeconomic forecast portfolio includes weekly financial market reports, monthly regional Monitors, and in-depth quarterly Business Forecast Reports. Industry Analysis BMI covers a total of 17 industry verticals through a portfolio of services, including in-depth quarterly Country Forecast Reports. View more research from Business Monitor International at

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