GSMA Latin America Plenary 38

With more than 20 Latin American operators in attendance, representatives from seven regulatory bodies (including COFETEL and SCT from Mexico) and suppliers for the telecommunications industry, the GSMA Latin American Plenary Meeting 38 was held early in December in Mexico City.

The meeting was sponsored by the National Telecommunications Association (ANATEL) and the Mexican mobile operators Nextel, Telcel and Telefónica. Speakers at the event included ANATEL President Enrique Leiva; Chair of the Chief Regulatory Officers Group of GSMA Latin America, Javier Delgado; General Director of Telecommunications and Radio Broadcasting Policies for the Mexican Communications and Transport Department, Andres de la Cruz; and Director of GSMA Latin America, Sebastián Cabello.

The Plenary opened on a positive note with Leiva outlining the health of the mobile industry in Mexico, where industry players expect good annual results for 2012, but are even more excited about what’s to come. “We share the goal of making Mexico a leader in Latin America and a model for reform and creativity on the global telecommunications market,” said Leiva. Delgado continued in this positive outlook, emphasising that the dramatic telecommunications revolution has produced both economic and social transformations. Delgado also highlighted the impact of several GSMA initiatives, such as the agreement of 40 mobile operators in Latin America to help keep users better informed on the use of data roaming, as well as work of GSMA member operators in Latin America to exchange information in order to block phones reported as stolen in the different countries of the region. De la Cruz Viel continued in this vein and highlighted that the goal is to provide Mexicans with more options, higher quality and better prices. These measures seek to guarantee the right of all Mexicans to access broadband services.

GSMA representative Cabello noted that that one of the key issues for the mobile industry is the increase of data services, given that the average level of penetration of voice-based services in the region is over 100%. In September 2012, there were over 97 million mobile broadband connections and according to estimates, that number is now at above 100 million. “In Latin America, people mainly connect to Internet on mobile networks,” said Cabello.

At the same time, Cabello focused on how important it is to advance with spectrum assignment in all the countries in the region to allow operators to offer value-added services, with a particular emphasis on the importance of harmonising policies across the region.

The GSMA Plenary Session also included a panel where high-ranking executives from Nextel, Telcel and Telefónica shared their vision of the Mexican mobile market and the challenges facing the new administration in terms of regulation. A roundtable session was held to discuss how to ensure continued investments in networks, with participants including Daniel Bernal Salazar (Vice Director of Regulatory Affairs at América Móvil), Miguel Calderón (Vice President of Strategy and Regulation at Telefónica México) and Gustavo Cantú (Corporate Vice President at Nextel Mexico).

Further information on the plenary session can be found here