Telecommunications in Mexico since the 2013 reform : Federal Telecommunications Institute delivers, competition issues remain
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In June 2013, Mexico reformed its Constitution to promote competition, diminish entry barriers, and strengthen its telecommunications sector. The Economic Competition Federal Law marked Mexico’s most radical move yet to revamp its telecommunications institutional framework, fight vested interests, and change the competitive landscape in hopes to boost investment and improve services. This report evaluates the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) policy decisions and looks at market indicators in the fixed and mobile markets to assess change. The IFT has had important institutional wins effectively implementing most asymmetric regulations. The courts have upheld its decisions, and –amid some controversy– selected a winner for the 700MHz band PPP contract. While three years is hardly enough time for structural change to take effect, evidence shows overall sector growth but little or no change in the competitive landscape trend. Market concentration remains high, broadband coverage and internet access remain at lower income country levels, and while mobile telephony prices have decreased, broadband prices have not. Furthermore, total investment and investment per revenue increased in the fixed market, although not in the mobile market. Finally, eliminating foreign investment caps has already benefited consumers with AT&T entering the mobile market and its subsequent removal of national and international roaming fees. This report concludes that, despite their shortfalls, the 2013 Constitutional Reform and Telecommunications Law have contributed to overall institutional stability and sector growth.