The DIY Cell Phone Revolution in Mexico

January 16, 2015

By Dana Driskill, 1/15/2015

Innovation2San Juan Yaee, Oaxaca is a small town of 500 people in Mexico that, until very recently, did not have access to their own cell phone network, according to a recent article in Wired. Rhizomatica, a telecommunications non-profit based in Oaxaca, is looking to change that by installing a cell phone tower and a network. Yaee will be one of hopefully six more networks installed throughout Oaxaca by the end of the year.

Yaee and other communities pay 120,000 pesos ($8,000 dollars) upfront for the equipment and installation, about one-sixth of what Mexican commercial provider Movistar charges for a similar rural installation. Seventy five percent of the payment covers the cost of hardware, and the remaining portion is for Rhizomatica’s time and expenses. After installation, subscribers to the community network will pay 30 pesos (about $2) per month for local calls and texts. After paying for electricity and maintenance, the leftover profit is for the town.

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Bloomberg’s Erik Schatzker Interview with President Enrique Peña Nieto

September 24, 2014

09/23/14 Bloomberg 

Enrique Pena NietoMexican President Enrique Peña Nieto speaks about the country’s telecommunications industry, energy assets and economic policies. Peña Nieto, speaking with Bloomberg’s Erik Schatzker, also discusses Mexico’s crime issues, the legalization of marijuana in some U.S. states and immigration (This report is in English and Spanish).

Watch here…


America Movil to consider structural changes after Mexican reform

June 26, 2014

06/25/14 Reuters

cell phones 2Carlos Slim’s America Movil (AMXL.MX) said on Wednesday it had created a committee to evaluate options in response to an overhaul of Mexico’s telecommunications sector which aims to curb its dominance.

The committee will study “structural, commercial, technological and other options … as well as the opportunities offered by the new Mexican regulatory framework,” the company said in a statement.

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Mexican Telecom Regulator Completes Dominance Review

March 7, 2014

shutterstock_124592293The Wall Street Journal, 03/06/14

Mexico’s telecommunications regulator said Thursday that it completed its investigation to determine which companies are dominant in their respective markets, and will unveil the results once the companies have been notified.

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Mexico Regulator Targets Slim’s Phone Companies, Televisa

February 28, 2014

people networkWall Street Journal, 2/26/14

Mexican authorities are about to strike a bold blow to phone companies of tycoon Carlos Slim, and leading broadcaster Grupo Televisa, in a bid to stoke competition in their near-monopolistic markets, according to a person familiar with the situation. Mexico’s new telecoms regulator is expected to next week declare Televisa and America Móvil units Telmex and Telcel as dominant in their respective sectors.

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Mexican Regulator Postpones TV Decision

February 14, 2014

televisaThe Wall Street Journal 02/13/2014

Mexico’s new telecommunications regulator suffered its first legal setback, postponing a decision Wednesday on rules under which broadcasters must offer their channels to pay-television systems following a court ruling.

A Mexico City judge Monday notified the Federal Telecommunications Institute, or IFT, that it doesn’t have the power to order the free transmission of certain broadcast channels, the IFT said. The court’s opinion stems from a 2011 legal dispute between Grupo Televisa SA TLEVISA.MX -0.81% B, the country’s biggest broadcast company, and satellite-TV provider Dish Mexico.

On Wednesday, the IFT’s seven commissioners had been scheduled to determine guidelines under which broadcasters must make their channels available free to cable and satellite-TV operators and those pay-TV providers must distribute the channels to their customers.

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Mexico Said to Make Telecom-Dominance Ruling Harder to Avoid

January 22, 2014

TelmexBloomberg, 01/21/2014

Mexico’s government is preparing a complex formula to identify dominant phone and media companies, aiming to keep industry giants from manipulating numbers to avoid regulation, said a person with knowledge of the plan.

The nation’s new telecommunications regulator won’t determine the biggest companies in an industry just based on their subscribers or viewers, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t public. Rather, the calculation will include a range of measurements, including investments and infrastructure.

Under a law passed last year, companies that have been found dominant in Mexico face tougher scrutiny and enforcement measures, including regulation of the prices they charge and even the forced sale of assets. The government’s rules are most likely to affect America Movil SAB (AMXL) and Grupo Televisa SAB (TLEVICPO), which were already identified as dominant companies in a preliminary finding in December.

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