Musk Inks $90M Starlink Deal to Launch Free Internet in MexicoMusk Inks $90M Starlink Deal to Launch Free Internet in Mexico
The contract comes as part of a government initiative to close the digital divide in Mexico
November 16, 2023
Elon Musk’s satellite network company, Starlink, has landed a $90 million contract to provide free internet and phone services in remote areas of Mexico.
The news was announced by Mexico’s president López Obrador at a press conference, and confirmed by the Mexico Institute on X, formerly known as Twitter.
According to the post, the project is expected to benefit “over 10,000 users” and will last until December 2026.
The move is intended to not only expand network coverage in Mexico but also bolster its cybersecurity capabilities by strengthening its connectivity.
"If the U.S. and Mexico want to strengthen commercial ties, Mexico has to prevent being the weakest link in terms of cybersecurity and assure its partners that it can respond and recuperate from cyber threats and attacks," said Lila Abed, deputy director of the Mexico Institute.
The deal comes as part of a project from Mexican federal agency CFE Telecomunicaciones e Internet para Todos (CFE TEIT) and satellite connectivity provider SES to close the connectivity divide in Mexico.
Under the initiative thus far, the partners have delivered voice and data services to 400 underserved, remote villages and communities across the country, via the SES-17 Ka-band satellite.
The partners estimate that over the next four years, an estimated 57 million people in both rural and urban areas in Latin America will access 4G or 5G for the very first time.
Starlink joins eight other telecommunications companies working with CFE TEIT to provide free internet in the country, and four firms working on the state mobile telephone service.
In addition to Starlink, CFE TEIT has contracts with Apco Networks, Axess, GSAT, Next Telekom, SES, Tangerine Electronics, Televera Red, Viasat and Hispasat.
"As technology continues to advance, the demand for increased connectivity via both broadband and mobile networks is growing exponentially,” said Omar Trujillo, SES’ vice president of enterprise Americas. “It is very impressive to see the tremendous impact of the government’s innovative approach to digital inclusion where CFE TEIT directly brings 4G to rural areas on a large scale and in a short time frame.”
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