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Telecommunications in Mexico: Building the World’s Wealthiest Man

by on July 4, 2010

I am in no position to tell the company that is controlled by the wealthiest man in the world, they need to do better.  I’m just sayin’, “There is room for improvement.”

No, not Bill Gates at Microsoft, or Warren Buffet, or the Google Brothers.  I am talking about Mexican multi-billionaire Carlos Slim Helu’.  As of April 2010, Slim became the richest man in the world according to Forbes.

Forbes Wealthiest Man

Side Note:

I was surprised that an American was not the richest of the rich.  But, I was even MORE surprised that that person was Mexican.  In my thick American skull, I could not believe this.  And for that, I am ashamed.  Americans, in general, have predetermined ideas about foreigners: who they are, what they are capable of, and how they live.  This was a good discovery for me.

One of the most significant in Mr Slim’s empire is America Movil, Latin America’s largest mobile phone company, which operates in 11 countries and serves more than 150 million customers.

Among America Movil is the cellular network in Mexico: Telcel.  Telcel’s cellular network covers over 60 million cellular subscribers, about 80% share of the Mexican wireless market.

Mexico has the second-largest online population in Latin America, after Brazil. With over 112 million people, 30 million are online. An average user in Mexico clocks 23.2 hours per month.

Teléfonos de Mexico (Telmex) is the traditional fixed-line telephone service that provides most of the Internet use, and holds around 94% of all lines in service in Mexico.

In short, Slim has monopolized the telecommunications market in Mexico.  But this can change very soon.  In early 2010, the Calderon government reiterated its intention to strengthen laws and regulatory institutions in Mexico in the interests of greater competition.  The introduction of competition to the telecommunications market can mean trouble for Slim and Telmex.

Now is a good time for Telmex and Telcel to go on the offensive.  Now is the time to reach out to the millions of subscribers and find out how to improve, be the best internet and mobile provider. 

The good news is that Telcel is already doing this.  Telcel is reaching out to their customers to solicit ideas on how to improve through their Ideas Telcel site.  Here, customers can share their gripes, complaints and good ideas for integration into the company.  My limited Spanish may have told me otherwise, but unlike Starbucks who have shown they can be very responsive, I did not see where Telcel was answering/conversing with their subscribers.  This can be a valuable aspect to retaining customers with the threat of competitors soon to join the landscape.

Through Telcel’s website, they advertise for their Twitter and Facebook pages.  My research shows a meager following on both sites:  Twitter gets 13 thousand, while Facebook gets a poor 247.

Where Megabuck’s Slim, Telcel, and Telmex have dominated, there now is a serious threat to loosing a huge number of customers with the arrival of new companies.  The once accepted “my way or the highway” approach may not work much longer.  To remain a valued, affordable service to the average Mexican, Telcel and Telmex must begin talking WITH and not just TO their customers.


From → Mexico

  1. Good research and nice post. Your point about Telcel needing to listen more and use the tools they have already set up was well taken. Your voice and tone with regard to “Slim” was fun to read, though it may have been a bit too casual for talking about someone who you don’t really know personally or have a personal connection to. I love the informal tone, but it’s a tough line to get right in terms of how readers will react to it so just be careful when you use it.

    The only connection that seemed a bit missing to me was the point you were making with highlighting him as the world’s wealthiest man and the connection that had to the point you make about how they are not listening to social media. They needed to be linked more directly so the flow was a bit more clear.

    Other than that, good post this week that I enjoyed reading. (4)

    • Ryan D. permalink

      Rohit- Thanks. I know it was a stretch linking Slim to Telcel and the real topic of the post. Slim was used mostly as a peg for interest to the reader. I could have written the entire thing on Telcel, but it would not have been as fun to write (or read). -Ryan

  2. Simply a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw great style and design . “The worst-tempered people I’ve ever met were the people who knew they were wrong.” by Wilson Mizner.

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