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Mobile phone rates 2nd lowest in LatAm

Telecommunications costs dropped 23% with reforms, says SCT

Two years after the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto implemented its telecommunications reform package, Mexico’s mobile phone rates are among the lowest in Latin America, according to the Communications and Transportation Secretariat (SCT).

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“Between June 2013 and December 2015, the price of telecommunication services dropped on average 23%,” said SCT chief Gerardo Ruiz Esparza.

Ruiz said the elimination of domestic and international long distance rates to North and Central America had a major impact on the decline.

The savings for end users amount to more than US $1 billion a year due to mobile phone rates that are 28% lower and a 41% drop in international long distance charges.

According to the telecommunications company Telecos, Mexico ranks 26th for the lowest phone rates among 140 countries. Mexico also has the second-lowest rates in Latin America after Costa Rica.

For broadband data charges, Mexico ranked 25th internationally and fifth in the region, behind Venezuela, Uruguay, Brazil and Panama.

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These results match those of other studies, such as one performed by the Brazilian Telecommunications Association, where Mexico ranked among the lowest in prepaid mobile phone rates.

The telecommunications reforms, explained Ruiz Esparza, have allowed for a competitive market that’s also open to domestic and international investors, fostering the entry of new competitors.

Before the reforms, he continued, foreign direct investment in the sector amounted to less than 1%, whereas today it is one of the most attractive markets for foreign investors, bumping the percentage to nearly 10%.

The Communications Secretary also observed that the transition from analog to digital television freed up the 700-megahertz radio frequency band, which will be used to install a mobile services shared network, making available 4G networks to twice as many Mexicans, representing an additional 40 million mobile phone users.

Ruiz Esparza was speaking at the Fourth Latin American Telecommunications Congress, held this past week in Cancún.

Source: La Razón (sp)

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