The allocation of a concession by the Federal Institute of Telecommunications is intended to provide greater options to bring connectivity to populations that lack Internet access. Expansion He requested details from the company led by Manuel Bartlett about the state company’s new commitment to the telecommunications sector, but offered no comments.
The Red Troncal project, which emerged in 2013, contemplated bidding for more than 25,000 kilometers of fiber optic network installed in the guard wires of the CFE high-voltage transmission and distribution towers to create a wholesale company, that is, say, Internet and telephone network provider.
However, the plan was terminated in August 2019 on the grounds that it required a new approach that could coincide with the objectives of the 2019-2024 National Development Plan. At that time, the experts considered that the more than 25,000 kilometers of fiber optics would pass into the hands of the then new state company: CFE Telecomunicaciones e Internet para Todos. But four years away CFE itself will be in charge of giving access to its fiber optic.
According to a source from the telecommunications sector who asked not to be quoted, one of the main problems with the Commission’s network – which would have deployed around 50,000 kilometers of fiber optics – “is that many (players) don’t want it because that network was intended for purposes of the electrical system and do not support telecom. Added to the uncertainty of how much money the state company has to invest for this network to work”.
Salomón Padilla, vice president of the Independent Telecommunications Association (ATIM), which provides Restricted TV and Internet Access services in rural and suburban populations of the country, agreed that the main challenge facing the CFE’s fiber optic network is its abilitysince it still does not have densification throughout the national territory and doing so would imply an investment of billions of pesos.
“There is a serious capacity issue because this network has different types of fiber (dark, optical) since they (CFE) have made several national contests to put fiber and replace the one they already had, but, in addition, that network does not necessarily pass through remote populations and one of the big problems it has had is where to land its network”, says Padilla.
For Jesús Romo, an analyst at the GlobalData consultancy, despite the fact that there are still no further details about the CFE plan, those interested in its network could be the small operators and not the companies of the fixed segment such as Megacable, Telmex or Izzi, who currently invest in their own fiber network in different cities of the country.
Expansion consulted Telmex, Megacable and Izzi about the entry of the CFE as a wholesale company in the segment, but until the publication of this text they did not offer comments.
What will happen to the Red Compartida?
The experts consulted agree that the CFE fiber will function as a complementary network with that of High Networkswhich is mobile in nature and has the Mexican State as the majority shareholder.
“From the ideation of the backbone network, it was thought that it was going to be a complement to the Shared Network and it would be expected to be so, but now we do not know to what extent it will continue to be like this and to what extent it will provide services to Altán ”, points out Romo.
The Red Compartida has become the wholesale network that enabled the so-called Virtual Mobile Operators (MVNOs)and that are already shown as an alternative to traditional mobile service companies such as Telcel, AT&T and Telefónica.