Pay-TV concession finally a possibility for Telmex?

24 Jan 2013

With the Mexican telecoms regulator Comision Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Cofetel) having reportedly approved an industry-wide interconnection agreement, it appears that America Movil’s local fixed line unit could finally bag the pay-TV licence it has longed for. According to Bloomberg, which cites a statement from the regulator, under proposals which are expected to be published early next month, following approval by Mexico’s Regulatory Improvement Commission, Telmex could be handed a concession allowing to offer TV services if it agrees to the terms of the Interconnection Framework Accord. In addition to signing the framework accord however, to obtain the licence it is understood that Telmex will also need to pay a fee determined by the Ministry of Finance, while it will be required to seek approval from the Secretario de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT).

The news comes just a day after reports that an appeals court had rejected a bid by Telmex to overturn an earlier ruling by the SCT which had rejected the former’s request for a pay-TV concession. As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the telco has been seeking the licence for a number of years, having originally hoped to launch triple-play DSL, voice telephony and IPTV services in the first half of 2008, after an announcement in June 2007 that it had already lined up content agreements with broadcasters. Despite such plans, the launch of TV services has long been hampered as a result of the continued refusal by the SCT to issue it a concession for such services.

With the interconnection agreement approved, the president of Cofetel, Mony de Swaan, has been cited as calling the development ‘important, and I would say historic’.