In our latest report on Mexico, Telcel again dominates the awards with five outright wins across the awards that it won back in October 2020: Video Experience, Games Experience, Download Speed Experience, Upload Speed Experience and 4G Coverage Experience. This time, however, AT&T managed to snatch the Voice App Experience award away from Telcel, while keeping hold of the 4G Availability Award.
Mexican operators are yet to launch 5G services on a large commercial scale. The Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) made spectrum in 600 MHz and 3.3 GHz bands available for potential use for 5G deployments and the Mexican government recommended a two-year exemption in annual licence payments for operators willing to roll out 5G networks in the 600 MHz and 1500 MHz, based on commercial concessions that will be issued in 2021 and 2022.
In January 2021, Movistar confirmed the completion of the first stage of its network migration to AT&T’s infrastructure in several Mexican states and cities, based on the last mile wireless capacity access agreement signed in November 2019. The first stage of network migration allowed Movistar to expand its 4G coverage to a further 6.2 million inhabitants. Movistar will continue with the second stage in 2021.
In February 2021, ALTAN Redes (Red Compartida), a 700 MHz open access wholesale network signed an agreement with the Mexican government, which will enable all three mobile operators — AT&T, Movistar and Telcel — to use ALTAN Redes’ infrastructure to provide connectivity to areas with less than 5,000 inhabitants. This will help to expand 4G coverage in Mexico and bring mobile broadband services to previously underserved areas. Another initiative undertaken to provide coverage to underserved locations is a multi-band spectrum auction, announced by the IFT. The tender will offer a combination of regional and national licenses in the 800 MHz, 1900 MHz, 1700/2100 MHz and 2.5 GHz bands, with the specific coverage obligations for the states of Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca and Veracruz. The formal submission of bids will not happen until September 2021.
Our results in this report are based on measurements collected across all major mobile operators in Mexico – AT&T, Movistar and Telcel – over the period of 90 days between December 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021.