Mobile connectivity on the way. Mobile connectivity for Villa Talea de Castro. xataka

Mobile phone service coming to the sierra

Indigenous community in Oaxaca sets up its own mobile network

The indigenous peoples of southeastern Mexico will soon be able to operate their own community mobile networks, with the potential beneficiaries numbering close to 10,000.


The new mobile network concessions authorized by the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) are the fruit of the efforts of the Mixe people of Villa Talea de Castro in the northern sierra of the state of Oaxaca.

Tired of depending on a single land-line phone booth and the constant rejection by large telecommunication companies, the people of Talea decided to apply for a permit themselves to operate the connectivity services nobody else wanted to invest in and provide.

After the IFT announced its decision on Tuesday, the indigenous people not only from Talea but throughout the country will be able to operate their own mobile networks, delivering phone services, text messaging and broadband mobile internet connections to users in remote areas.

The radio-frequency spectrum granted to the people of Talea enables them to provide services not only to their own town but to 356 communities in five neighboring states.

Telecomunicaciones Indígenas Comunitarias, A.C., as the non-profit mobile operator is officially known, will be able to operate thanks to the first concession in Mexico intended for indigenous social use.

The social designation of the concession requires that the operator shall promote the values of the local Mixe, Mixtec and Zapotec people. Those values include the conservation and development of their languages, culture and knowledge, along with their traditions and internal regulations.


The use of the concession also implies that the communities must respect the principles of gender equality and allow women to be included in the original goals under which the concession was requested.

The coverage area of the concession has the potential to include 48 municipalities in Chiapas, 29 in Guerrero, 61 in Puebla and 54 in Veracruz, in addition to the 164 in Oaxaca.

All calls and text messaging within the network will be operated by Telecomunicaciones Indígenas Comunitarias at favorable fees for its users. When a connection to another national or international network is requested, the company will use an internet-based third party to provide the interconnectivity.

At present there are 16 communities capable of joining the network, which requires buying a 50,000-peso dish antenna with a coverage area of 1.5 to 2 kilometers in all directions.

Initially, the mobile network will be based on the 2G protocol but it has the potential to grow to 3G and 4G broadband capabilities. The installation of dish antennae will enable the communities to access satellite internet, although at extra cost.

Source: El Economista (sp)

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  • PintorEnMexico

    A double edged sword…

    • Hailey Mannering

      I was thinking the same, though probably for different reasons than yourself. There are many people in wealthy areas, such as US and western Europe with people who need to live away from EMF´s. (Electro magnectic frequencies?). There is a small area of West Virginia they´ve been moving to, but it´s expected that area will soon get full cell phone and internet service. So the 57 or so people who moved there to get away from EMF´s will have to find a new home or become very ill. There are no doubt thousands of people with the illness who don´t yet even know why they´re ill. I think it could be a win-win situation if a small, remote area of Mexico could be set aside for such people, near but not in, a village. I think Mexico´s affordability and good public transport would work well with the limitations of the EMF-avoiders who could inject cash into the local economy.

      • Richard Fryer

        Take off the tinfoil hat Hailey. Your buying into and spouting pure EMF pseudo-science. Those towers radiate between .5 and 3 watts of power, and are often a mile or more away, and no your not going to get horrible cancers or get sick from a cell tower. You are being exposed to no more than a few a uv which is 1/1000 of a watt worth of energy that is low frequency non ionizing energy…If you really fear electromagnetic irradiation best stay our of the sun Hailey where on sunny day you are directly irradiated with 1325 watts of electromagnetic energy m/2 right where and as you stand, starting from low infrared to well above UV.. yes the evil UV ionizing radiation that gives you skin cancer Hailey. Oh and while your at it throw away that wireless router that irradiates you with …gasp… 50milliwatts of energy from maybe 10 feet away… or what about the computer you use… is the wireless transmitter and Bluetooth for your mouse turned off… ? what is the real problem? It’s about the ambience and the changes made to the skyline of a community.. in short cell towers are not the prettiest things to look at. and one standing next to a 17th century church is out of place… and that sort of thing happens a lot in Mexico… so best get your priorities right..

  • Hailey Mannering

    The problems with EMF have now been medically proven to affect some people very seriously, To assume these people would even consider using WIFI is proof of not understanding the severity of the problem. Since my post is not being taken seriously by some, anyone interested should look at some of the EMF groups on Yahoo or Facebook, rather than be misinformed by some rude post.