Mobile network ecosystem

Regarding ownership, the Mexican mobile network ecosystem was built upon the base of the landline network that operated during the 20th century. Until 1990, the landline network was a state monopoly named Teléfonos de México or TELMEX (an acronym of the name). By the end of the 20th century, the Mexican government –under president Salinas de Gortari’s rule— privatised many of its state-handled companies. TELMEX was sold to businessman Carlos Slim Helú. However, Mexico did not open this sector to other investors, and TELMEX eventually became a private monopoly and the cornerstone for the consolidation of Slim’s telecommunications empire in the continent.

When technological convergence began to unfold, TELMEX expanded its operations to the mobile communication business through TELCEL, which has been offering services in the telecommunications realm with a predominant position in the market. Gradually, since the 2000s and especially after the 2014 Constitutional reform, the telecommunications sector began to face more competition and many national and international companies have started to offer services. However, as is demonstrated in the following sections, Slim’s parent company America Móvil, which owns TELMEX and TELCEL, is still the dominant firm controlling the telecommunications sector in Mexico and abroad. Drawing from the previous historical background, Mexico is in the process of building a robust mobile network for telecommunication services.