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Mexico: Telecommunications
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Economy > Transportation and Communications > Telecommunications


In December 1990, Mexico sold its state-owned telephone system, Mexican Telephone (Teléfonos de México -- Telmex), to private investors in the country's largest and most complicated privatization. The government sold majority voting rights and a 20 percent stake in Telmex to a consortium of investors for US$1.8 billion, and it sold US$3.7 billion in shares to the public in two public offerings. Nevertheless, customers continued to complain about delays in contacting operators, installing new phones, and receiving service upgrades.

In 1995 the Telmex network had some 8.7 million phone lines in service. Almost 13 percent of all international calls from the United States were made to Mexico in 1993, while more than 90 percent of Mexico's long-distance calls were made to the United States.

To improve service quality, Telmex inaugurated a US$30 billion modernization program in conjunction with its partners, Southwestern Bell Corporation and France Telecom, in 1993. In early 1994, the United States telecommunications company Microwave Communications International (MCI) announced plans to collaborate with Banamex-Accival Financial Group (Grupo Financiero Banamex-Accival -- Banacci), Mexico's largest financial group, in building a new long-distance telephone network in Mexico. The two companies valued the joint venture at US$1 billion, of which MCI would invest US$450 million. In early 1994, telephone industry analysts expected Mexico's US$6 billion long-distance telephone market to continue or exceed its 14 percent annual growth rate. The high growth rate stemmed from increased telephone communications between the United States and Mexico resulting from NAFTA and the government's stated intention to open the long-distance market to foreign competition in January 1997.

Mexico uses four Atlantic Ocean satellite ground stations and one Pacific Ocean satellite ground station of the International Telecommunications Satellite Corporation (Intelsat). Mexico is also connected to the Central American Microwave System. In 1985 the Mexican-owned Morelos-B domestic telecommunications satellite was launched from the United States space shuttle Atlantis. Morelos-B was replaced in 1993 by another Mexican-owned domestic telecommunications satellite, Solidarity I.

Last Updated: June 1996

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Mexico was first published in 1996. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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Section 129 of 213


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