Altan Redes, the consortium that operates Red Compartida, the country’s wholesale 700 MHz network, filed for bankruptcy back in July so that it can enjoy protection under Mexican law while it renegotiates its debts. In January 2021, the operator failed to hit its 70% population target. In May it sought to push back the deadline for providing coverage to 92.2% of the Mexican population — from 2024 to 2028. Red Compartida’s problems highlight how important it is to understand the mobile experience of users with Mexico’s established mobile network operators such as AT&T, Movistar and Telcel. According to a report on 5G opportunities in Malaysia written by DT Economics and commissioned by the GSMA, that used Red Compartida as a case study, the operator has suffered from the absence of a large anchor customer. This was combined with its decision to roll out in urban areas first where MNOs already have their own networks, along with interoperability and handset compatibility issues.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Mexican mobile market is still in a holding pattern waiting for the launch of the IFT-10 tender that will award 41 national and regional spectrum blocks in the 800 MHz, PCS (1.9 GHz), 2.5 GHz and AWS-3 (1700/2100 MHz) bands, though commercial 5G services could launch as early as 2022. New spectrum capacity will help operators to support rising mobile data usage and an improved mobile network experience.
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 June 1, 2021 and August 29, 2021.