CFE Telecomunicaciones e Internet para Todos began to offer mobile telephony services in the country through an MVNO. Although the news generated interest among users in various locations, including Mexico City, the company can only serve the population that does not have such service.
This means that the company created by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is prohibited from offering its connectivity services in markets that are already served by other operators. However, CFE Telecomunicaciones has found a way to do it.
The concession granted by the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT) in 2019 allows it to offer “the internet access service to the population that does not have said service”, that is, to those users who live in an area in which private operators do not offer their services. This would leave out Mexico City and the State of Mexico, for example.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said in early August that the state telecommunications company does want to provide services in markets such as Mexico City.
Until now, the IFT has denied this possibility to CFE Telecom, however, company employees assure that the state MVNO is waiting for the IFT to approve the establishment of points of sale for its chips.
“We have coverage to provide services (in these cities) but we are waiting for the IFT to authorize us to set up points of sale in Mexico City. We hope that in a couple of months we will have the permit”, said one of the workers.
According to information on the company’s website, the IFT authorized 47 branches to market its chips or SIM cards, most of which are located in Oaxaca. Although Mexico City and the State of Mexico do not have points of sale, users in those locations could access CFE Telecom’s telecommunications services.
In a second call, another operator explained to Expansión that although CDMX and the State of Mexico do not yet have marketing branches, if a user of both entities asks a friend or family member to live at a point where there are sales branches of CFE Telecom SIMs, they can acquire a line in the name of a third party and only send it to the person who wants to use it in Mexico City.
“Sure, this can be done, someone can buy you the chip and without any problem we can help you here to activate the CFE Telecom service. Or you can also do it through the official page, ”said the operator.
In addition, Expansión found that if users in Mexico City acquire the chip from another entity, they would have no problem recharging or activating their plan, since CFE Telecom highlights that it has 1,214 branches authorized to carry out recharges in said entity, of which 54 belong to Telecomm and 1,160 to small businesses.
While in the State of Mexico it has 3,136 branches, of which 74 are Telecomm and 3,062 correspond to small businesses.
Jesús Romo, director of the Telconomy consultancy, points out that the national coverage that CFE Telecom has, in principle seeks to guarantee that users in remote areas can access a good telecommunications service even when they leave their territory and visit other cities. However, such coverage should not be used to offer services where other private competitors already operate.
“Here the IFT does have to be diligent. We know that there are internet channels where you can sell and market (SIM cards) and the regulator would have to detect how CFE can turn them around. It also has to make sure that people don’t seek to take advantage of lower rates when they don’t live in those areas and also that CFE Telecom is not permissive”.