Mexico’s telecommunications sector undergoing quiet revolution, Baker Institute expert says

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Payan: Development creates a whole new set of opportunities for foreign companies

HOUSTON – (March 11, 2014) – This past Friday’s ruling by Mexico’s newly created telecommunications regulatory commission, Ifetel, against the country’s giant telecom monopolies América Móvil and Televisa creates a whole new set of opportunities for foreign companies, according to Tony Payan, a fellow for Mexico studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and director of the Baker Institute’s Mexico Center.

TONY PAYAN

At the heart of the rulings by Ifetel is the requirement that the companies share their infrastructure, which will eliminate the central barrier for new firms looking to enter or to grow in the market.

“Over the last year, Mexico has accelerated its legislative work to open up competition in a number of important economic fields,” Payan said. “While most of the attention has gone to energy reform in the last few months, there is a quiet and largely unsung revolution in the telecommunications sector. The Mexican government has moved to aggressively fight the monopolies that have made Mexican telecommunications services 40 percent more expensive than those in the United States. These companies have also stifled innovation and are responsible for a dearth of competition in Mexico’s electronic communications and entertainment industries.

Payan said Friday’s ruling may eventually create a whole new set of opportunities for foreign companies from the U.S. and elsewhere to enter the Mexican market, introduce innovations and lower prices while still taking advantage of a market that promises to produce billions of dollars in profits.

In addition to being a Baker Institute fellow, Payan is an associate professor of political science at the University of Texas at El Paso and serves on the graduate faculty of the Universidad Autónoma de Juárez in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. His area of study is international relations, with an emphasis on U.S. and Mexican foreign policy and U.S.-Mexico relations. He is the author of “The Three U.S.-Mexico Border Wars: Drugs, Immigration and Homeland Security” and other books.

The Baker Institute has a radio and television studio available for media who want to schedule an interview with Payan. For more information, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at jfalk@rice.edu or 713-348-6775.

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Related materials:

Payan biography: http://bakerinstitute.org/experts/tony-payan.

Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top 15 university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog.

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