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MX23_IT_IENTC_Carlos

MEXICO - Telecoms & IT

Carlos Arguimbau

CEO, IENTC

Bio

Carlos Arguimbau is the founder and CEO of IENTC Telecomunicaciones. He has more than 10 years of experience in the telecommunications industry and is skilled in negotiation, business planning, session initiation protocol (SIP), customer relationship management (CRM), and IP networking. He graduated in communications from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey and is one of the most experienced executive directors with a solid track record of work and success in this sector.

"One of the main challenges right now is the evolution of small businesses."

A 100% Mexican company, IENTC Telecomunicaciones has positioned itself among the leaders in its field in the country.

What is your perspective on the current state of the telecom industry in Mexico and the main challenges that it faces?

One of the main challenges right now is the evolution of small businesses. After the reform in 2015, there were many new small enterprises and telecoms businesses trying to grab a slice of the market that was previously unattainable. This is both an opportunity and a huge challenge for the big players, because they are losing subscribers to the smaller entities. Right now, there are over 1,000 license holders all over the country for telecoms, and they are also providing fiber service, which is a huge opportunity. There is a great deal of consolidation right now, and medium-sized enterprises are undergoing many mergers and acquisitions, while large companies are acquiring smaller ones, especially cable operators. We are a relatively small company compared to them, but we are better able to adapt to the market and pricing, which is an advantage for us. The Mexican telecoms sector has been extremely attractive for foreign investments, and the returns have proven to be real and bigger than expected. It is a much safer sector to invest in, than real estate or others that do not have the potential to grow.

In what areas in Mexico are you investing for additional growth?

We started in Querétaro, and from there we are starting to build the network. Everything has been success-based CAPEX investment, with customers that already have contracts, so we are building this backbone for the long haul to connect other cities until we have customers in that new city. We built and maintain our network by our own to avoid external OPEX expenses and become a much stronger local player in the regions. We are now expanding to Michoacan, Jalisco, Aguascalientes, and San Luis Potosí, namely the large industrial cities. It takes more effort to enter these areas, but we are trying to do it with our own network, which gives us a stronger presence and higher returns. To become a local player with national coverage without using any contractors, we need to build offices and have local people on our payroll in every city to ensure we have the right quality and operation expenses to serve the market as we should, with aggressive pricing. These are investments we seek to do, and our goal is to penetrate the entire country. We are starting with the markets that have the best economies. Moving from Querétaro, we are looking at moving north first and then south. The goal is to have a long-distance network all over the country and local networks in every reasonably large city here in the next five years.

Are you also betting on 5G in Mexico, and do you have any plans to participate in it?

We are working with AT&T and Altan to offer fiber services, dark fiber, and infrastructure for their towers. We are also working closely with Altan to share network agreements in which we do investments on the network side, and everything is 5G ready. We only need software updates to make 5G available as soon as the network is ready to deliver 5G services; however, for 5G to properly work here, the networks require a significantly bigger density and thousands of more antennas and small cells all over the country. This is something that the country needs to work on together. There are many companies and partners working to deliver this infrastructure to provide an acceptable quality of service. All companies struggle with this, which means we need more density regarding to towers, distribution antenna systems, and fibers. We are all working with the network operators to cover all these dark places that have no coverage or where coverage is already at more than 100% of utilization.

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