Carlos Slim Domit, president of the board of directors of América Móvil, reported that they plan to invest 8 billion pesos in fiber optic expansion as long as they are granted the concession for the pay TV service and described the Office’s concerns as erroneous. of the United States Trade Representative (USTR, for its acronym in English) that warned about the risks of the company’s entry to this service, so they will seek to open a dialogue to present their arguments.
“We could enter with an investment of 8 billion pesos in fiber optic expansion, of course in areas where there are none today, and available for use by any participant,” Slim Domit said at a press conference.
The press call was convened one day after it emerged that the USTR expressed to the Ministry of Economy and the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT) its “concern” about Claro’s possible entry into pay TV.
“The USTR has promoted convergence in the United States, everyone in the United States has all the services, so we do not understand what their concern is, we will go find them to talk with them and have the arguments also on our side,” said the director. General of América Móvil, Daniel Hajj.
If approved, América Móvil’s entry would have important implications for competitors such as AT&T and Grupo Televisa.
In this sense, América Móvil accused AT&T of interfering in obtaining its pay television license, in a dispute that has become a series of public insults, while the regulators decide whether to grant the permits.
Slim Domit said that AT&T’s performance in Mexico has more to do with the appointment of “mediocre” executives than with the lack of competition in the industry.
On previous occasions, the telecommunications regulator in Mexico has denied the pay TV concession to América Móvil as it is considered Preponderant Economic Agent (AEP), due to its large market share in mobile telephony and internet.
This week it emerged in the media that the IFT Plenary would resolve, possibly today, the request presented by Claro TV to provide restricted television services.
This caused the USTR to express concern about the implications for competition.
“The concern (of USTR) is due to the lack of knowledge of the market. We believe that the issue of convergence is a transcendental decision in the country and not for reasons of time. It surprises us more than it worries us, but we do believe that it is an opportunity to be able to sit down, what more do you want than a market where there are low prices, quality of service, infrastructure”, explained Slim Domit.
He added that in the 17 countries where América Móvil operates there is convergence and that triggers investments that not only have to do with pay television.
“All operators offer basic telecommunications services and it has brought digital inclusion, telemedicine, tele-education, and the counterclaim of small businesses to e-commerce,” said Oscar Von Hauske Solís, Director of International Operations for América Móvil.
IFT officials said late last year that they were considering authorizing América Móvil to enter Mexico’s pay TV market, although no decision had been made.
América Móvil already has a market share of 70 percent of mobile internet services in Mexico and more than 62 percent of mobile phone services, according to IFT data.
IDET denounces ‘gross maneuver’ and attempt to surprise the IFT
The Institute of Telecommunications Law (IDET) considered that the request for a concession to provide pay TV services presented by Claro TV represents “a new and crude maneuver” by the Preponderant Economic Agent to try to circumvent the Political Constitution, the Federal Law Telecommunications and Broadcasting (LFTR) and the regulatory provisions issued by the IFT.
In addition to that, the company would seek to evade the obligations and restrictions to which it is subject in terms of preponderance.
“The approach made by the AEP in the sense that Claro TV can abstract from the provisions of the current legal framework only because said company was created after the declaration of preponderance of 2014, is nothing more than a ruse. law that, in no way, can be validated by the IFT”, said the IDET in a press release.
The IDET assured that it is “evident” that an eventual entry of América Móvil to pay TV “represents a clear violation of the Telecommunications Chapter of the T-MEC.”
“The USTR’s warning to the authorities of our country about the potential violation of the T-MEC against the possibility that the IFT allows the AEP to enter the pay television service “through the back door” has a solid foundation. , that is, evading the procedure provided for in the legal framework.
“It is clear to IDET that a nasty and clearly erroneous decision by the IFT would not only cast severe doubt on the regulator’s commitment to the rest of the industry, but could even lead to economic retaliation for Mexico, at a time when the sector and the country require a regulator capable of discerning and rejecting the strategies designed by the AEP-T outside the law,” he warned.
Due to the above, the IDET called the IFT commissioners so that this week they definitively and negatively resolve Claro TV’s request.