Mexico - Commercial Guide
Internet and IT Services

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-08-18

Mexico is a large and developing middle-income market, making internet and information technology services a best prospect industry sector.

Overview

The 2013 telecommunications reform enshrined Internet access as a constitutional right for all Mexican citizens. According to the National Institute of Statistics, Geography and Informatics (INEGI), in 2019 the country had 80.6 million Internet users, representing 70 percent of the population over the age of six and reflecting a growth rate of 4.3 percent over 2018. Efforts to improve market competition resulted in a 43 percent drop in prices for wireless since the telecom reform was enacted, according to Mexico’s telecommunications regulator, the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones or IFT). Mexico mirrors global trends towards mobility. Ninety-two percent of Internet users connect through a smart phone, and there are currently 106.8 million active smart phones in the country. IFT estimates that nine out of 10 cellular phone users own a smartphone.

Increased connectivity has spurred the growth of Mexico’s emerging digital economy. According to market intelligence firm IDC, cloud storage is expected to grow 37 percent by 2020, while software as a service is expected to grow 32 percent and infrastructure as a service is projected to surpass on-premise infrastructure by 2021. According to the latest available data, 44 percent of Mexican businesses use public or private clouds and 32 percent expect to adopt cloud computing within the next year.

The Mexican eCommerce market was worth USD 12.3 billion at the end of 2018. The Mexican Government is in the process of defining Internet-related policies and regulations on issues such as privacy, net neutrality, server localization, and intellectual property. Practices such as zero-rating are commonplace, and there are currently no safe harbors regarding intermediary liability.

Mexico is an attractive market for technology products from the United States related to the IT services industry and a strong global player in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) market. Research and advisory firm Gartner ranks Mexico third globally for nearshoring and offshoring services, behind India and the Philippines. Mexico is also developing IT clusters throughout the country to offer IT, software development, call center, high-tech manufacture, and engineering services to domestic users as well as to countries in North America and Europe. The country is following the global trend towards a service-centric IT industry, where most technologies are offered under a service contract or lease. There is a growing interest in Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platforms as a Service (PaaS).

The Mexican government’s policies addressing the COVID-19 pandemic designated the IT sector as an essential industry that could continue operating during quarantine. Several U.S. suppliers of IT solutions for telework and remote communications offered free licenses to the Mexican public sector during this period.

Mexico Internet and IT Service Market indicators
(Figures in millions)

 

2017

2018

2019 (Estimated)

Fixed lines

19.9

20.6

20.4

Mobile Subscribers

114.3

118.2

121.1

3G and 4G Subscribers

74.7

78.2

84.2

Broadband Subscribers

17.1

18.1

19.3

         

Source: BMI Research

Mexico IT Market Overview
(Figures in USD billions)

 

2017

2018

2019 (Estimated)

IT Market Value

11.4

12.1

12.9

Computer Hardware Sales

4.3

4.4

4.6

Personal Computer Sales

1.9

1.9

2.0

Software Sales

1.2

1.3

1.4

Services Sales

5.8

6.3

6.8

Source: BMI Research

Leading Sub-Sectors

We see growth and opportunity for U.S. companies in the following sub-sectors:

  • IT security services
  • Training
  • Tailored software apps
  • Leased infrastructure (NOCs, SOCs)
  • IT system maintenance
  • Consulting and systems integration
  • CATV network apps
  • Business intelligence
  • Cloud analytics
  • Virtualization
  • Digital advertising

Opportunities

The main opportunities for IT solutions (products and services) are in sectors intensifying the use of IT, including manufacturing, transportation, security, energy, retail, and financial services. Improved competition in IT and telecommunications will drive demand for core-network and other infrastructure solutions.

Most government agencies and businesses will seek to forego capital investments and identify IT service providers that can integrate turnkey solutions under a lease contract. Cloud-based solutions have seen a growing demand among small and medium-sized enterprises, which utilize these solutions to increase their competitiveness and align their IT capabilities with those of larger partners and buyers.

In addition, the U.S.–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) will further improve opportunities in the sector. When NAFTA was negotiated, the digital revolution was in its infancy. The USMCA’s new chapter on digital trade contains the strongest commitments of any international agreement and provides a firm foundation for the expansion of trade and investment in innovative products and services in North America.

Specifically, the provisions

  • Prohibit the application of customs duties and other discriminatory measures to digital products distributed electronically (e-books, videos, music, software, games, etc.).
  • Ensure that suppliers are not restricted in their use of electronic authentication or electronic signatures, thereby facilitating digital transactions.
  • Guarantee that enforceable consumer protections, including for privacy and unsolicited communications, apply to the digital marketplace.
  • Ensure that data can be transferred cross-border, and that limits on where data can be stored and processed are minimized, enhancing and protecting the global digital ecosystem.
  • Promote collaboration in addressing cybersecurity challenges, while seeking to promote industry best practices with respect to network security.
  • Protect the competitiveness of digital suppliers by limiting the ability of the United States, Mexico, or Canada to require disclosure of proprietary computer source code and algorithms.
  • Promote open access to government-generated public data, thereby enhancing its innovative use in commercial applications and services.
  • Enhance the viability of Internet platforms that depend on interaction with users by limiting the platform’s civil liability with respect to third-party content, except regarding intellectual property enforcement.

Web Resources

Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT)

www.ift.org.mx

Mexican Internet Association

www.asociaciondeinternet.mx

National Chamber of the Electronics, Telecommunications, and IT Industry (CANIETI)

www.canieti.org

IT Industry Association (AMITI)

www.amiti.org.mx

Events

Contacts

For more information on Internet and IT services in Mexico, please contact:

Adriana Carrillo

Commercial Specialist

U.S. Commercial Service—Mexico City

Tel.: +52 (55) 5080-2000 ext. 5215

Adriana.Carrillo@trade.gov