Mexico’s Telecoms Reform: Its Impact Has Been Underestimated, Experts Say

Government, Business, Academic Leaders Speak at Atlantic Council Forum in Mexico City

Six weeks after President Enrique Pena Nieto signed Mexico’s telecommunications reform law, hundreds of government, business, and academic leaders met in Mexico City to discuss its likely impact at the International Forum on Telecommunications Reform, organized by the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.

The telecommunications bill was approved amid a number of other ambitious reforms, most notably the opening of Mexico’s energy sector.

“The impact of the new telecommunications laws on the everyday lives of Mexicans has been underestimated. Of all the reforms approved over the past year, this is one that will impact every Mexican household as greater competition takes hold in the sector and service offerings improve, as the cost of such essential services becomes cheaper in the near future,” said Peter Schechter, director of the Arsht Latin America Center.

“Dramatic changes will be arriving in telephony, broadband, and television in the coming years,” Schechter said.

As foreign investment pours into Mexico to improve infrastructure, enhance competitiveness, and lower consumer prices, the telecommunications reforms likely will be felt quickly by Mexicans.

“Competition and independence are staples of the reform, and will redefine governance structures. This reform shows, yet again, the transformations in Mexico, as well as the investment interests that are opening up to improve services for the Mexican people. Highlighting these reforms is central to our mission of showcasing the new Latin America,” said Jason Marczak, deputy director of the Arsht Latin America Center.

The reform laws are expected to open the country for the first time in history to foreign investment without limitation, promote rapid modernization, and adaptation of new technologies.

Already many international corporations are enthusiastic about the investment opportunities under the new law.

“We are convinced that the Telecommunications Act is the basis for technology that can provide improved services and support various sectors in delivering faster and more effective solutions towards sustainable social development,” said Fred Gallart, director of Motorola Solutions and one of the panelists at the conference in Mexico City. “Our company looks forward to contributing to the technology’s underpinnings that will promote the economic, political, and social welfare that is the spirit of this reform,” he said.

The Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center is dedicated to broadening awareness of the transformational political economic and social changes throughout Latin America. Follow the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center on Twitter @ACLatAm.

Image: The director of the Atlantic Council's Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center Peter Schechter addresses a packed crowd at the start of the first International Telecommunications Forum in Mexico City.