Mexico’s President, Enrique Peña Nieto, this week headed a ceremony in Los Pinos, Mexico City, commemorating the 4th anniversary of the country’s telecommunications reform.

“Over the last four years,” said Peña Nieto, “Mexico has established the basis to successfully participate in the digital economy through greater and better use of information technologies.”

He recalled that, four years ago, Mexico dared to propose a new paradigm and initiate a deep transformation in the telecommunications and information technologies sector.

“The telecommunications reform has an important social dimension: narrowing the gap between those who have access to digital technology and those who do not,” stressed the president.

The UN has recognizes the significant effects of the Telecommunications Reform, and places Mexico as the leader in Latin America and the Caribbean for digital services, according to the President.

After receiving an acknowledgment from the National Chamber of the Electronic, Telecommunications, and Information Technology Industry (CANIETI), President Peña Nieto stressed that the Telecommunications Reform is already producing tangible benefits for Mexican families: “By eliminating the national long distance charge, Mexicans now save 20 billion pesos annually.”

Achievements of the Reform

“Today’s Mexico is very different from that of just four years ago,” said Peña Nieto. “In this short period, the number of internet users in the country has increased by more than 60%, from 40 million to 65 million, which now allows 80% of our young people to have network connectivity.”

The Mexican telecommunications sector has grown at an annual rate of 10% in the last four years, which is nearly four times that of the economy as a whole.

“Thanks to the fact that we have knocked down barriers to investment, private resources have amassed more than MX$230 billion for telecommunications infrastructure,” he said.

Other achievements include free broadband internet is now available in more than 100 thousand public spaces, thans to the Mexico Connected Program; the network of México Conectado Punto Digital Inclusion Centers, recently awarded by the United Nations telecommunications agency, offers education and training in information technology in 32 state centers; and the transition to digital television, which freed up the 700 megahertz band and will allow the development of the shared network (Red Compartida).

The shared network project, which will begin operating next year, is a unique initiative and will represent high quality and high speed telecommunications coverage for more than 100 million Mexicans by the year 2024.

US Investment & Future of the Reform

“The commitment of the Government of Mexico was fundamental in our decision to invest in Mexico, and we trust that in the decisions that are to come, we will continue to take care of the interests of the users,” said Kelly King, CEO of AT&T Mexico.

AT&T is investing $3 billion dollars into Mexico between 2015 and 2018, in addition to the $4.4 billion it has already invested, according to King.

“Mexico is living a very exciting moment, a historic moment,” he continued. “Technology and connectivity are transforming the country and changing the way people and businesses communicate, consume, and produce.”

He said that this reform was designed to make Mexico more competitive in this sector, but above all, it has translated into better quality, better coverage, and better service rates for Mexicans, in an effort shared by all operators in the country.

Looking ahead, Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, Secretary of Communications and Transportation, emphasized that “the objectives remain clear: to make the whole country have connectivity and position Mexico at the global level as a nation at the forefront in the century of the digital age.”