Mexico has Insufficient Telecom Infrastructure: IFTBy Rodrigo Brugada | Fri, 07/09/2021 - 20:13
The COVID-19 pandemic showed that Mexico's infrastructure is insufficient, according to 67 percent of experts and telecommunications companies surveyed by the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT).
Most telecommunications companies foresee an increase in investment in both fixed and mobile services, according to IFT’s Survey of Expectations of the Telecommunications Sector 2021. The survey stems from regulators' need for new tools to detect and address challenges based on market realities. It details that the groups surveyed place-fixed and mobile internet coverage as a priority, followed by net neutrality and voice and data services.
Most of the respondents mentioned that the development of the telecommunications sector concerning the availability, intensity of use, capacity to use and impact of telecommunications services will improve this year. Ninety-seven percent of respondents expect that the intensity of use of telecommunications services will increase. Likewise, 75 percent believe that literacy in these services will also increase due to their growing popularity.
There is a divided opinion in the case of the impact on price, quality and diversity of offerings. Fifty percent believe that the results will improve, while 36.1 percent of respondents believe that they could remain unchanged or even worsen compared to the previous year. Only 13.9 percent of respondents have negative expectations regarding prices, quality and diversity of service offerings.
According to the survey results, respondents expect service performance to be maintained for all services, except for fixed telephony service, which could decline during 2021.
The commercial strategies of the telecommunications sector reflect that the most mentioned strategy consists of the adoption of new services that incorporate added value to the operators' commercial offerings. This strategy is closely followed by deploying infrastructure and bundling services provided by other companies and horizontal acquisitions and purchases.
In terms of innovation, LTE coverage, 5G networks, cloud computing and network virtualization represented a high degree of importance for developing the digital ecosystem in the country. Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) are considered innovations of medium importance, but that does not mean that they do not have a relevant role in the digital environment. Experts and companies in telecommunications services also recognized other innovations such as the deployment of Fiber Optics for the home and Wi-Fi 6.
In terms of growth expectations, most experts expect mobile telephone service and fixed and mobile broadband accesses to grow by up to 5 percent. In contrast, fixed telephone services will experience a decline of a similar magnitude. On the other hand, telecommunications companies say that fixed broadband will grow by up to 5 percent, according to half of the respondents, and at higher rates for 34.6 percent of respondents.
Another important aspect has to do with expectations regarding the state of the telecommunications infrastructure to meet the demand in the context of the health contingency. Most of those surveyed consider that the infrastructure will be insufficient. The results show that efforts could focus on four essential issues to improve the current infrastructure: adoption of new technologies, new infrastructure sharing schemes, higher investments and virtualization of networks.