Is the Mexican government doing enough to support 5G rollout and thereby attract more investment? That is the question asked by the Mexican telecoms sector at a recent conference.
According to Reuters, a GSMA event (M360 Latam) saw a number of speakers suggest that better coordination between Mexico's government and telecoms companies is needed to ensure a faster roll-out of 5G services to meet the demand of major companies.
One such is American multinational automotive and clean energy company Tesla, which is planning a factory in Nuevo Leon state, near the US-Mexico border. This is seen as a good example of nearshoring opportunities open to Mexico. However, Tesla's operations in Mexico will depend on robust telecoms networks and artificial intelligence, according to a Nuevo Leon minister.
So could federal government do more? Yes, said Gabriel Szekely, Chief Executive of Mexico's regulator Anatel, who said federal government needs to help connect the manufacturing sector with telecoms providers to boost 5G services and attract more investment. He apparently argued that there is not a specific vision for 5G to be implemented in Mexico. About 15% of Mexico's population has access to 5G services, compared to 61% in the United States, he added.
Mexico's own projects will need 5G technology. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's Inter-Oceanic Corridor, a plan to modernize freight cargo transport between the Pacific and Gulf coasts through Mexico's narrowest point, is one such. If successful it will create a rail route that could eventually rival the Panama Canal.
Of course 5G isn’t the only game in town, as Nokia and AT&T Mexico recently showed by deploying what they call the first industrial-grade LTE private network in a maritime terminal in the country. However, a clear 5G strategy would undoubtedly be helpful.