Cyberattacks on public entities and private companies in Mexico look set to grow exponentially in 2020. However, Mexico has no national cybersecurity, so the private sector has instead introduced self-regulatory schemes to try and protect itself against cyberattacks. This video examines the main cybersecurity issues that businesses in Mexico face today, including the recent growth of 'cryptojacking'.
In December 2019 the Federal Telecommunications Institute issued draft rules for public consultation to further regulate net neutrality in Mexico. Further discussions are anticipated following the consultation period and the definitive rules are expected to be published in mid-2020. Nonetheless, the publication of draft rules to regulate net neutrality is a positive step which has long been awaited by both industry players and non-governmental organisations.
A new state-owned company has been established to provide free internet services to all citizens in Mexico. The company aims to provide telecoms services without charge and guarantee the right of access to information technologies and communication (including internet and broadband), particularly to people without access to such services in Mexico.
The administration recently issued its National Development Plan 2019-2024, which – despite the previous administration's plans – does not mention cybersecurity. Although there are still hopes that cybersecurity will be addressed in the soon-to-be-released Communications and Transports Sectorial Programme 2019-2024, it appears that the present administration has no intention of implementing a cybersecurity strategy.
The Federal Electricity Commission recently published draft terms of reference for a new tender procedure in which 50,000km of two strands of dark fibre will be allocated for the provision of free internet services to all citizens under the so-called 'Internet for All' project. Specialist opinions on the project's feasibility have been mixed, and the president has stated that if no winner is published in the near future, he will create a government agency to provide internet services throughout the country.
The Supreme Court of Justice recently declared that an article of the Federal Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law – which provided that the minimum fine for any violation of the law not otherwise expressly penalised in another law was 1% of the offender's annual income – to be unconstitutional. This declaration may signal that the court intends to participate more regularly in shaping Mexico's legal framework in order to rectify deficiencies created by Congress.
One of the first actions that the new federal government administration undertook after taking office in December 2018 was to prepare the expenses budget in accordance with the new president's austerity principles. After heated discussions, the budget was finally approved on 24 December 2018. Shortly after, the Federal Telecommunications Institute filed a constitutional challenge in which it claimed that the budget will affect its ability to perform its constitutional regulatory functions.
Mexico recently became the first country to liberate the 600MHz band after the Federal Telecommunications Institute approved the relocation of the last two channels that transmitted therein in order to free it up for 5G broadband services. This transition will enable Mexico to make the band available to the market through a bidding process and exploit international mobile telecoms applications for 5G mobile broadband services.
In 2017 the Federal Telecommunications Institute published the General Guidelines for the Accessibility of Broadcast Television Services, which will take effect in December 2018. The guidelines establish requirements regarding the inclusion of Mexican sign language or hidden subtitles in certain programmes, which apply to concessionaires that use a signal to commercially transmit broadcast TV to more than 50% of the Mexican territory and federal public entities that are concessionaires of public broadcast TV.
The Ministry of the Interior recently issued the Guidelines for the Audiovisual Content Classification of Broadcasting Transmissions and Pay Television and Audio Services. The 2015 guidelines dramatically increased the hours during which a programme or ad can be broadcast depending on its rating, leading to legal disputes to protect child audiences. While the 2018 guidelines maintain the same broadcast times as the 2015 guidelines, they have increased the duration of the parental warning.
Telecomunicaciones de México recently issued a call inviting applicants to compete in the bidding for the Red Troncal project (ie, the National Backbone Network), which has been in the works since the 2013 constitutional telecoms reform. The winning party will enter into a public-private partnership for the design, financing, installation, deployment, operation, strengthening, maintenance and development of the network and the provision of wholesale telecoms services.
The president recently launched the Red Compartida (or Shared Network), which is one of the most important projects being undertaken in the Mexican telecoms sector. The project involves a new mobile broadband network in the 700 MHz band, which will provide wholesale services under a public-private partnership structure between Altán Redes and the government. The project aims to provide mobile broadband coverage to 92.2% of the Mexican population by 2024.
The Federal Institute of Telecommunications recently approved the final programme for the functional separation of Mexico's fixed incumbent companies as a consequence of the asymmetric regulation imposed on the América Movil Group (AMX). However, AMX has informed the Mexican Stock Exchange that it will challenge the approval of the programme and there has been some scepticism as to the results and practical consequences of the separation.
The Federal Institute of Telecommunications recently announced the auction of the 2.5 GHz band. The auction's purpose is to assign the commercial use and exploitation of 120 MHz of the 2,500 to 2,690 MHz band for the provision of wireless services. Four companies and one consortium are interested in formally participating in the auction process, which is expected to be completed by November 2018.
Mexico has substantially revamped its telecommunications and economic competition framework, although this remains a work in progress as the new telecommunications regulator continues to implement it. In addition, two new pieces of legislation have been enacted. These three events constitute the pillars of the new telecommunications regulatory framework.
The recent change in government has brought many interesting developments through the so-called 'Pact for Mexico' - an agreement between the three dominant political parties in the country to work together. The pact includes proposed amendments to several telecommunications laws that would give Mexicans greater access to world-class telecommunications services and diverse networks.
Earlier this year the Ministry of Communications and Transport began legal proceedings to change the use of the 2.5 gigahertz band to provide 4G mobile services. To date, there has been little previous public policy on the use of frequencies in order to tackle the low number of wireless internet service providers, so a key question for existing licensees is why the new policy must impose such a burden on them.
The Ministry of Communications and Transport has initiated proceedings to change the use of the 2.5 gigahertz frequency band. Users of the frequencies were notified of the new policy. The ministry plans to revoke these users' licences – which entitle them only to deliver television services and value added services – and thereafter auction off the frequencies for the provision of 4G mobile services.
It is the best of times and the worst of times for Mexico's telecommunications industry. All market players and analysts agree that the sector continues to flourish, but they also point to the need for resolve old problems, including interconnection rates, costing methodologies and the regulator's structure and powers.
Against the background of problems in the wider economy, the telecommunications sector has seen a number of significant developments in recent months. Among other things, they relate to the potential lifting of foreign investment restrictions, antitrust issues and changes in taxation.