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Broader 5G coverage needed to attract top companies to Mexico

Better coordination between Mexico’s government and telecoms companies is needed to ensure a faster roll-out of 5G services to meet the demand of major companies such as Tesla, executives and officials said on Wednesday.

Tesla’s planned factory in Nuevo Leon state, near the U.S.-Mexico border, is an example of near-shoring opportunities open to Mexico, industry leaders told a conference hosted in Mexico City by international telecoms organization GSMA.

But the federal government needs to help connect the manufacturing sector with telecoms providers to boost 5G services and attract more investment, said Gabriel Szekely, Chief Executive of Mexico’s National Telecommunications Association (Anatel).

“(The government) does not have a specific vision for the 5G world to be implemented in Mexico,” Szekely said.

About 15% of Mexico’s population has access to 5G services, compared to 61% in the United States, Szekely said, citing a recent study.

Tesla’s operations in Mexico will depend on robust telecoms networks and artificial intelligence, Nuevo Leon Economy Minister Ivan Rivas said in a video message.

“It would be good to reflect on what we can do as a government at all levels…. to adequately address the need to have all telecommunications networks with the most advanced technologies and facilitate the transfer of more companies to Mexico,” Rivas said.

Mexico’s own projects will need 5G technology, including President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s Inter-Oceanic Corridor, a plan to modernize freight cargo transport between the Pacific and Gulf coasts through Mexico’s narrowest point, to create a rail route that could eventually rival the Panama Canal.

“In the case of the train… the government has not come out to say this is what is needed and this is the plan,” Szekely said. Reuters

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