Interview: Fernando Borjón on Mexico's Woan and lessons for SA - TechCentral

Interview: Fernando Borjón on Mexico’s Woan and lessons for SA

Fernando Borjón

Mexico is often held up by the South African government as an example of a successful wholesale open-access network (Woan), the type of network it’s keen to roll out to make the local telecommunications market more competitive.

But how successful has Mexico’s Woan — known as Red Compartida — been? TechCentral editor Duncan McLeod sat down with Fernando Borjón, director-general of Mexico’s Telecommunications Investment Promotion Agency, or Promtel, to get a better understanding of the project, why the country embarked on it and the lessons learnt so far.

In the podcast, Borjón talks about the history of the Mexican telecoms market, how it came to be dominated by one operator — Carlos Slim’s América Móvil — and how the country hopes Red Compartida will break Slim’s monopoly hold over the sector.

What could — and should — South Africa learn from the Mexican example, and are the two markets even remotely comparable? Could a Woan help loosen MTN and Vodacom’s dominance on our mobile sector? And what mistakes should be avoided?

Borjón explains why Mexico decided to give Red Compartida exclusive access to the 700MHz band (and not other bands), why the country mandated its creation in the constitution and what adoption has been like so far.

It’s a fascinating discussion about a topic that has a direct bearing on the future of South Africa’s telecoms industry. Don’t miss it!

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