America Movil could be allowed to bid in upcoming pay-TV tender

19 Mar 2014

Despite suggestions that recent regulatory developments in Mexico’s telecoms sectors have been bad news for Latin American telecoms giant America Movil (AM), it is claimed that the new framework could see the company realise one of its biggest ambitions. According to Forbes, the country’s new telecoms watchdog, the Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Ifetel), has said that despite both of AM’s local telecoms units – Telmex (wireline, broadband) and Telcel (wireless) – having been designated as dominant in their respective sectors, this should not prevent AM from bidding in an upcoming tender for two new television broadcast networks. With the company having long coveted an entry into the pay-TV sector, the Ifetel has said that a bid would be accepted as long as all group companies comply with regulatory restrictions aimed at boosting competition. ‘We’re not going to close the door to anybody who can offer the best improvements for competition,’ head of the Ifetel Gabriel Contreras was cited as saying, adding: ‘If it’s a new face or not, that for us is irrelevant. We want to attract as many competitors as possible. Being big isn’t a problem.’ Further, despite AM subsidiaries having previously been banned from the pay-TV sector, Mr Contreras reportedly said that it could apply for the TV tenders via Telmex, should the latter company procure a single license for all services (internet, fixed voice and wireless, and TV), or through a separate company. Bidders for the two new national TV network concessions are required to apply by 17 June, with confirmation of the identities of qualified bidders expected by 9 September.