Mexico takes tougher line on mobile competition – Mobile World Live

Mexico takes tougher line on mobile competition

12 MAR 2013

Mexico’s government has put forward a proposal to increase competition in the country’s telecoms market, a move that would hit Carlos Slim’s America Movil the hardest.

A new bill calls for the creation of a new telecoms regulator that would have the power to make fines, introduce price controls and even enforce asset sales on dominant players, as well as restrict the appeal process that currently blocks regulatory decisions.

The new regulator, to be called the Federal Telecommunications Institute, would oversee both mobile and fixed telecoms markets, as well as the country’s television services. It would replace the existing regulator called Cofetel

America Movil has 70.37 million subscribers in Mexico (Q4, 2012 figures), according to Wireless Intelligence, equivalent to a market share of 69.6 per cent.

The country’s government is led by President Enrique Pena Nieto who has backed the proposals as a means to galvanise the country’s economy. He is keen to see more competition to the country’s dominant broadcaster, Grupo Televisa, as well as America Movil.

Under the proposals, special courts would have the power to handle regulatory disputes in the telecoms market, prohibiting the likes of America Movil from blocking decisions by using the appeal process.

The bill would also remove restrictions on foreign ownership in fixed services. In addition, the government plans to create its own wholesale telecoms network to encourage internet access to spread more evenly across Mexico. It wants to see internet access spread to 70 per cent of homes and 85 per cent of businesses.

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Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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