Telecoms in Mexico: challenges and opportunities

The barriers to deploy a proper telecommunications infrastructure are one of the most determining obstacles when it comes to shortening the existing digital gap between people connected to the Internet and those who are not. This is one of the great problems of Mexico and the Americas. The reasons for these barriers are many, really. Not only the bureaucracy that stands in the way of the construction of new infrastructure projects, but also state corruption, the high costs involved, and the difficult geographical conditions of many countries.


This is one of the main challenges of Mexico, and, certainly, should be attended by the new administration, once the current electoral process is concluded. The new president and his government should take measures regarding Internet access for most of the inhabitants of the country, and should not go back on the progress made in terms of prices and quality in telecommunications services. Unlike other countries in the region, Mexico still does not have a large population of mobile phone users, and this market will surely have a tremendous growth during the next six years, so we are facing a great opportunity to grow economically in this sector of the industry.

It is important to keep in mind that one of the basic steps to walk this long road, and, thus, reducing the digital gap in the best possible way, is to encourage the immersion of technological tools to process information through all the possible variety of devices. It is key to ensure that the connectivity becomes, as a means, could go beyond the mere entertainment and the daily communication, which, despite both uses have certain relevance in the daily life of the millions of mobile phone users in the country, it can go further: to the generation of value and the triggering of internal consumption, besides being the main tool for the operation of small, medium, and large Mexican companies. Telecommunications are one of the main gears in the productive chains, and, therefore, a poorly developed telecommunications network means, in a nutshell, an economy plagued by irresolvable difficulties.


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Another great challenge regarding telecommunications in Mexico is related to the Internet of Things. The country is still so far from the IoT ideal, that most of the objects surrounding us (in particular, some of the most important ones, such as vehicles) are connected to the Internet, constantly uploading information to the cloud that can later become valuable data which could be useful to solve many of the problems of the Mexican society. In addition to the effective deployment of fifth-generation networks, this is one of the most problematic aspects when we talk about the future of the Mexican telecommunications compared to the rest of the civilized world.

In addition, electronic commerce is another important challenge that Mexico will face in the coming years since we all will face a significant increase in the demand for more e-commerce services with better connectivity. For now, only a small percentage of the Mexican consumers make purchases online, but this, just like in the rest of the world, is in a permanent and exponential rise. Foreign companies such as Amazon, Alibaba, or AliExpress, in addition to the e-commerce Mexican companies, are promoting this way to make business so that consumers do not have to leave their homes to purchase and enjoy the goods and services they need. A trend that is behind the massive closure of shopping centers in the United States will also arrive in Mexico, and it is important to be prepared for that. The best bet, in that case, is to improve telecommunications.


Another big challenge has to do with corruption. Telecoms is one of the economic sectors in which monopolies happen more easily, and this means that the State must have some intervention to defend the interests of society. For this reason, the new administration will have a decisive role to draw up telecoms policies and to exert controls that not only allow an adequate economic growth in this field but also avoid the abuses against both consumers and the emerging companies in the industry.

Mexico has been going through difficult times in many ways. One of them, besides security, is the economic aspect. There is still much to be done. Therefore, this is one of the fronts in which it is necessary to produce large investments: telecommunications. The Mexican economy needs to adapt to the new rhythms of the world’s markets, and it needs to be better connected to grow and compete with foreign companies, and thus offer better services abroad.

Last year, the Ministry of Communications and Transportation presented a Digital Connectivity program, which included ten major projects to achieve some of the objectives mentioned here. As in other countries, the political problem here is related to multiple needs and a low budget, in addition to the corruption at all levels of the State. However, we must be optimistic and hope for the best.


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