The GSMA submits recommendations to Mexico’s presidential candidates to maximise benefits of digital economy

The proposal includes specific measures and key policy areas that will allow Mexico to promote internet access for all, boost productivity and unleash the value of digitisation for industry and society.

15 May 2018, Mexico City: The GSMA (worldwide association of the mobile ecosystem) today launched the document “What should the public policy of the next president include, to fully integrate Mexico into the digital economy?”, setting out a series of proposals and public policy recommendations for the next president of Mexico to foster the country’s digital development.

“The next president will have the opportunity to determine how Mexico can be integrated into the new value chains, new industries and industry verticals brought by digitisation of the economy. The telecommunications reform achieved some good results, but there are still matters that need to be addressed,” said Sebastián Cabello, Head of Latin America, GSMA.

The proposal document puts forward four key policy areas that will allow Mexico to promote internet access for all and boost its production capacity:

  • Create conditions to encourage the large investments that will be needed to position the country in the new economy.
  • Less municipal bureaucracy, more antennas and more connectivity.
  • Affordable spectrum made available quickly and appropriately, for better quality of service and greater access.
  • Remove specific taxes that increase the access barrier for users, and define policies that promote affordability of mobile phones and services.

“A large part of regulation must focus on protecting user rights and promoting innovation, rather than pursuing prescriptive regulations that hold back future development,” Cabello said.

The GSMA also highlighted the following specific measures for the agenda of the next government:

1. Define clear governance among government agencies to avoid overlapping regulations and promote maximum coordination and subordination for efficient implementation of the national digital plan or agenda.

2. Promote incentives for infrastructure deployment, find solutions to municipal barriers, ensure uniform rules and simplify access to public buildings as far as possible.

3. Lower the annual spectrum fees laid down in the Federal Fees Law, ensuring greater feasibility for sustainable investments in latest technology networks with the spectrum assigned.

4. Remove the Special Tax on Production and Services (IEPS) for telecommunications. There is a lack of consistency in treating internet access as a constitutional right and taxing it as a luxury service.

5. Consider transforming economic processes by incorporating the Internet of Things. It would be advisable to launch a national plan for Internet of Things and Big Data (as Brazil and Colombia have done).

6. Examine the new value chains and ecosystems brought about by digitisation and the data economy, allowing Mexican firms to leverage them and create local value, jobs and new opportunities.

7. Facilitate and encourage the use of mobile money – the creation of e-money by non-financial institutions – to leverage emerging fintech models.

8. Refocus the plan for a shared network to give coverage to unserved areas in the short term.

9. Drive the creation of local content and apps to promote ready-to-use, single platforms to cover all types of local transactions.

10. Take measures to safeguard the privacy and the rights of citizens across a consistent base that does not limit cross-border data traffic, closely aligned with international experience.

The proposal document was launched today during the event “Contributions of the Mobile Industry to the Digital Agenda of Mexico”, where executives from the country’s digital industry presented their strategic vision and policy recommendations to the ICT teams of Mexico’s presidential candidates.

The document “What should the public policy of the next president include, to fully integrate Mexico into the digital economy?” is available to download here.