LIVE FROM MOBILE 360 LATIN AMERICA, MEXICO CITY: Representatives from the Mexican government and telecoms regulator IFT committed to addressing issues hampering deployment of high quality mobile services across the country, with the ultimate aim of providing universal access within five years.

Speaking during the opening keynote session, Mexico’s secretary of communication and transport Javier Jimenez Espriu (pictured) acknowledged political and local issues raised by the country’s mobile industry, which were cited as hampering network rollouts.

“To achieve universal connectivity in five years, the challenge is big,” Espriu said, committing to work with individual operators and other stakeholders in the mobile industry to address “political difficulties” and bureaucracy faced by them.

“Together with all of you we will work to find fair methods to increase coverage,” he added, noting the policy of universal connectivity in the country was part of the government’s aim to create a “modern inclusive and humanist culture.”

Local issues
Later in the session the challenges faced by the country’s operators was raised by Gabriel Oswaldo Contreras, commissioner president of IFT (pictured, right).

Contreras said the “hyper-connected future telecoms” brought by 5G would impact all elements of people’s lives and it was vital nobody was left behind, though significant challenges remained.

“One of the most important challenges are barriers at the local level,” he added, noting problems accessing locations and geographical issues. “Many times we need to overcome local and the legal barriers. Other times we have to fight corruption.”

He noted even in the most developed markets the economics were not there to supply 100 per cent connectivity, emphasising the importance of authorities and other industries being involved.

“Here we need millions and millions of investments and the market is not enough,” he added. “Regulation of telecoms must not be what it was ten years ago, stakeholders must not be who they were ten years ago.”