Once again we find ourselves in the same dilemma as in recent years, the high cost of the radio spectrum in Mexico. For our readers, the spectrum is part of the airspace used to transmit telecommunications signals, it is a public good. Nation that administers the State, for which the Government charges for its use.
The current problem oscillates in that little is charged in exchange for the operators acquiring it, investing, maintaining rates and continuing to develop telecommunications networks, which increases connectivity and promotes other economic and social activities; or else, that the State charges a high amount because it knows that the operators need that resource -to grow- opting for a collection vision.
The previous debate is common during the discussion and approval of the economic package of each year, where the Federal Law of Rights comes, which establishes the annual fees that must be paid for the radio spectrum, although for 2023 no increases to the fees were proposed under the justification of avoiding the rise in the prices of telecommunications services in order to protect the economy of less favored households, the truth is that some experts continue to consider that the spectrum in Mexico is expensive and a collection position is maintained.
Studies from various institutions report that our country has the highest charges, doubling the average in Latin America and could even triple. In advanced countries such as Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Sweden, no annual fees are established for the use of the spectrum or the amounts are very low, less than 5% of the total value of the frequency bands, in Mexico the annual fees are around between 70% and 90% of the total cost according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
This high cost has caused investments to be stopped or auctions to be halted, and as I pointed out, it has implications for economic competition in the sector, since it presupposes a barrier to entry for new participants and gives incentives for operators to return the spectrum as unaffordable or not. invest.
The situation of the economic package for 2023 sets the guidelines for the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit and the IFT to work together in order to fine-tune the cost of the radio spectrum, as the President mentioned it this week, in the remainder of his administration no The autonomous bodies may disappear, but he proposed to transform them and invited the autonomous to work, perhaps this is the opportunity not only to adjust the value of the radio spectrum but to take coordinated steps in favor of competition and the development of the telecommunications sector, in an institutional and planned way. That is public policy.