Discussion Papers

Federico Kuhlmann

Entwicklungen im Telekommunikationssektor in Mexiko: Von einem Staatsmonopol zum Wettbewerb
Nr. 173 / April 1997


The development of the Mexican telecommunications market has followed a pattern which is similar to what has been observed in many other countries. Until several years ago telecommunications services had been offered in monopolistic environments. But advances in technology and changes in economic policies have originated dramatic modifications of the regulatory framework. The liberalization process in the Mexican telecommunications sector started in 1989. The intention of the government to privatize the monopoly that operated the public telephone network and offered telephone services, to grant licenses for the operation of mobile services and to make the necessary changes in the regulatory framework to implement these actions, became clear upon the publication of the National Telecommunications Development Plan in 1989. These ideas led to the enactment of the new Federal Telecommunications Law in June 1995. The law constitutes the basis for the entrance of new competitors into the telecommunications market. Just one year after the law was enacted, it is already possible to identify characteristics of a liberalized telecommunications sector in Mexico: new licenses for installing and operating telecommunications networks have already been granted, a Regulatory Authority was formed and new services based upon new networks have recently been offered.

The evolution of this sector in Mexico during the last 6 years is focused upon in this report. After presenting a historical perspective, which analyzes Mexican telecommunications previous to the year 1990, the regulatory framework is described, highlighting the most important aspects of the law as well as of the additional regulations, which were issued by the ministry for Communications and Transport to complement the Law since its enactment. This is followed by a characterization of several segments of the telecommunications market for the years after the privatization of the monopoly. A description of the former monopolist (prior to, as well as after the privatization), complemented with information about mobile networks and services, cable-television networks and specialized mobile radio networks provides an insight into the development of the market. The last part of the report describes the conditions stated in the licenses recently granted to the new competitors in the market and a brief description of the services and market segments each of the new players plans to exploit.

Only German language version available.

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