Telefonica Mexico (Movistar), the second main mobile carrier in Mexico, with an 18% market share by 2021, announced the completion of its 3G and 4G traffic migration to AT&T's network.
This is in fulfillment of an infrastructure partnership deal aimed signed in late 2019, with which the company expects to save around five billion pesos annually, beginning to reflect at some amount within the last quarter of 2022.
Movistar returned all of its spectrum in the 800Mhz, 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz at the start of 2020 to the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT). Upon finishing the migration, the process of dismantling networks amounted to 58,000 decommissioned components, where 44% were recycled, 36% were sold in the market and 13% were redirected to Telefónica subsidiaries.
Through AT&T’s network, Movistar can deliver its 4G services to 83% of Mexico’s population across 230 locations, which is a significant boost two-and-a-half years after signing. During that time, the reach was only within 53% population coverage across 38 sites.
“The sharing of infrastructure, especially active infrastructure, is little explored in the region. We managed to demystify this thing that operators have to own infrastructure, that they have to be heavy-asset companies, when in reality the more efficient the networks, the easier it is to make them profitable,” explained Ana de Saracho, Head of Public Services, Regulation and Wholesale at Movistar México in an interview.
The agreement affords more capacity for Movistar across AT&T Mexico’s nationwide 3G and 4G networks and covers future technologies including 5G. It is worth noting that AT&T Mexico began the deployment of its 5G network in the country by late 2021.