Representatives from America Movil (AM) have staged talks with Mexican regulator Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Ifetel) to discuss the former’s plans to spin off around 11,000 mobile masts belonging to its wireless unit Telcel into a dedicated infrastructure company. If the plan goes ahead the new entity is expected to rent the cell towers out to Telcel’s fellow mobile operators, thus levelling the playing field. The move forms part of AM’s long-term strategy to cease being a ‘preponderant economic agent’ and escape tougher regulation.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, back in March 2014 Ifetel identified Carlos Slim-owned AM – the parent company of fixed line operator Telefonos de Mexico (Telmex) and mobile unit Telcel – as holding significant market power (SMP) in the telecoms sector, and compelled Slim to take proactive measures to reduce its overall influence within the Mexican marketplace.
As at 31 December 2014 Telcel claimed a 68.0% share of the Mexican wireless market, placing it comfortably ahead of Movistar Mexico (20.6%). The market is rounded out by Iusacell (8.8%) and Nextel (2.6%), both of which have recently been acquired by US heavyweight AT&T, ahead of its long-awaited entry into the Mexican mobile sector.