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Research by Country/Region January 23, 2018  
Mexico: Broadband Fixed Wireless Access

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Frequency Allocation and Foreign Ownership Restrictions

Mexico has a record of being among those Latin American countries with the most fair and transparent frequency allocation programs. As in most other markets, the 2-5 GHz band is not restricted by spectrum caps, leaving ample room for development of such services as Wi-Fi.

There are no foreign ownership restrictions for mobile telephony services. However, there remains a 49% foreign ownership limit applied to all carriers that provide basic telephony services.

Market

According to the April 2002 ExportIT Mexico report, produced by ITA/TD/Office of Information Technology Industries, and CS Mexico’s analysis, an area of impressive growth in Mexico is local telephony and the use of wireless technology as the best alternative to achieve higher teledensity. Service providers are likely to use fixed wireless technologies as a quick and cost-effective means to build out their networks and meet pent-up consumer demand.

Pyramid Research (Communications Markets in Mexico, 2003), predicts the following growth patterns in Mexico’s fixed wireless sector (narrowband included for comparison):

Total Market FW Market (Business and Residential):

2003 (E)2007 (E)
BFW Subscriber Lines (1,000s)014
Narrowband FW Subscriber Lines (1,000s)464779
BFW Internet Accounts (1,000s)014
Narrowband FW Internet Accounts (1,000s)120157
Revenues, BFW Internet Service (US$ millions)033
Revenues, Narrowband FW Internet Service (US$ millions)1428
MMDS/LMDS Pay TV Accounts (1,000s)8861,063
Source: Pyramid Research, Communications Markets in Mexico, 2003 Edition

Competitive Landscape

The following is a brief summary of three of the primary competitors that have adopted BFW solutions or strategies. These summaries were derived from ExportIT Mexico and Pyramid Research’s Communications Markets in Mexico, 2003 Edition.

Axtel

Axtel is owned by Mexican and foreign investors (51% held by Mexican investors and 49% by foreign investors). Axtel was awarded a nationwide local telephony and long-distance concession in June 1996 and fixed wireless local-loop frequencies (50 MHz) in the 3.4 to 3.7 GHz band in May 1998. Axtel uses WLL technology to reach residential users while combining point-to-multipoint microwave links and fiber optic cable to serve business subscribers.

Because of its fixed wireless technology, Axtel has been able to deploy its network quickly relative to other fixed-line carriers. Because it is using wireless technology and thus can provide infrastructure only to subscribers and not to all the non-subscribing households and businesses along the way, Axtel has been active in targeting current Telmex customers.

Alestra

Alestra, owned by AT&T, BBVA-Bancomer, and Grupo Alfa, has been providing data and long-distance services in Mexico since the mid-1990s. Using point-to-point and point-to-multipoint fixed wireless technology in the 10.5 GHz band, Alestra provides bundled offerings of dedicated Internet access, frame relay, and voice services. Alestra has been working to diversify its service portfolio away from purely long-distance-based services to data communications, Internet, and, most recently, local services.

Pegaso

Pegaso, owned by Telefonica of Spain, launched fixed wireless services in 2001 in all of the locations where it operated mobile services, including Mexico City metropolitan area, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Tijuana, Chapala, Ensenada, Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo, and Toluca.

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