If the Mexican telecommunications industry is to be competitive it needs at least 80,000 communications towers to support its networks, according to the Federal Telecommunications Institute.
But it currently has only 27,000.
“Perhaps a shared network [could be] an incentive, as it fulfills the plan of installing a good number of towers to guarantee coverage,” said Efrén Páez Jiménez.
Analysts at the telecom tower firm Towerxchange agreed, stating that opportunities in the market reside in the deployment of a shared network, one that offers coverage to both the urban and rural markets.
“There are few countries in Latin America, and perhaps in the world, as complicated as Mexico in terms of telecommunications infrastructure, and while this industry is often described as a gold mine, in reality it is very far from that,” the analysts told the newspaper Milenio.
The Institute for Telecommunication Rights (Idet) believes there must be more investment by tower companies to address the shortage.
Telecom towers were once a less competitive business in which carriers built their own networks.
But after telecommunications reforms in 2015 Telmex-América Móvil, once a near monopoly, had to divest its telecom tower operating business. It created a company called Telesites that owns some 12,000 towers.
At the same time foreign firms began to arrive, and less than five years later they own nearly half of all the telecom towers in the country.
Mediatelecom’s Paéz said Telesites, Telxius, and American Tower are the three companies that compete in the tower market.
The latter operates over 8,000 towers and is in the process of expanding its urban footprint with over 50,000 concrete poles and close to 3,400 kilometers of fiber optics, representing an investment of US $500 million.
Source: Milenio (sp)