I believe it was Winston Churchill who said “He who fails to plan, plans to fail”. Telecom business is no different. For that, it is important to consider all events related to the industry. November, final month of Calderon´s Administration, events on the telecom industry have happened, and could open many opportunities.
1. Federal Telecommunications Agency (COFETEL) resolved to recommend before Ministry of Communications (SCT) the granting of satellite license to Tangerine Electronics for public telecom network, private telecom network and value added services. Satellite “Bicentenario” will be launched next December 19, to become first of three satellites in the MexSat Fleet. One of the objectives of MexSat will be to connect isolated and low-income areas of Mexico.
2. Sigma Networks México, Megacable, Metronet, NII Digital, IP Matrix and Corporación Universitaria para el Desarrollo de Internet (CUDI) announced the formation of an association for operating the first Internet Exchange Point (IXP) in Mexico, in order to reduce cost of traffic exchange and data latency. This is a private project, but will have full back from Ministry of Communications (SCT) and Federal Telecommunications Agency (COFETEL). The modest investment of $200,000 USD will make more cost-wise the transport of big data (if other IXP are successfully set up).
3. SCT freed spectrum frequencies from 5,470 to 5,600 MHz and 5,650 to 5,725 MHz, to be used by general public without need of license, permit or registration, and for setting up local area networks. However, devices must still be certified before COFETEL, for preventing interference with other frequencies. There are some restrictions of maximums of 250 mW broadcasting power and 1 W equivalent isotropically radiated power.
4. Currently, many telecom licenses contain different obligations and rights, depending upon the time they were granted. This is because the original Telecom Law was not technology neutral and had excessive controls from Government. Last months, SCT has been working on making a standard telecom license for operators that do not use the spectrum. Likewise, SCT has just made official a new proceeding for requesting a telecom license.
5. Sales of Mexican telecom industry grew up 15.1% during third quarter of 2012 (in relation to 2011). In same quarter, mobile broadband grew up 56.4% and prices to internet service dropped 13%. These figures are announcing a bigger demand of bandwidth in the near future: the mobile broadband future.
Many other events and regulations will come with new administration of Mr. Peña Nieto, who has been very emphatic that will open the telecom market for telephony and free-to-air TV. Let´s see what open means.