Mexico’s shared LTE network is now live, with coverage extending to 32.2% of the country’s population.
Known as Red Compartida, the network was built via public private partnership (PPP) by Altan Redes. It used 700MHz spectrum and is scheduled for completion later this year, by which point it will cover 92.2% of the population.
Altan Redes is investing $7 billion in building out the network so it can be used by “network and non-network operators in a non-biased wholesale business model”. However, none of the country’s largest operators have yet signed an agreement to use it, with American Movil stating that it has no plans to do so. While AT&T and Telefonica have not yet signed deals, the latter has said it would “certainly consider using it” to extend its coverage.
The network came about through an agreement between Altan Redes and Promtel (Organismo Promoter de Inversiones en Telecomunicaciones) in January 2017, with the goal of launching by 31st March 2018. The main investor is a fund managed by Morgan Stanley, while the China Mexico Fund also has a major holding.
The shared network is part of a wider effort by Mexico’s government to reduce America Movil’s market dominance. It has satisfied Promtel’s initial coverage and operation criteria, and while it will be extended to rural areas, it is initially being rolled out in larger cities to maximise its population coverage.
The network’s “anchor suppliers” are Huawei and Nokia, with the latter providing the core equipment.