Teléfonos de México (Telmex) has been a private public company for the last 22 years. During this time, its programme to modernise and update its capabilities has transformed the company from one that exclusively offered telephony into the nation’s leading telecommunications and information technology services company, in a highly competitive market. Its commitment has been to provide strong communications services to Mexico through the use of modern technological platforms, and to offer its customers the best services and products, thereby driving innovation as well as information and communications technologies in the country.
Before its privatisation, Telmex functioned with one of the most obsolete, limited-coverage telecommunications infrastructures in the world, which resulted in a growing inability to provide the services that the population demanded and a culture that paid little attention to customer service.
In order to transform this situation, Telmex built a state-of-the-art company to support communications for Mexicans and provide the nation with a telecommunications platform to drive economic development. From 1990 to 2012, more than $34bn have been invested in Telmex’s expansion, modernisation and transformation, along with changing the digital culture of the company and the country as a whole.
The number of served communities has increased, covering more than 100 million Mexicans. The 100 percent digitalisation of the company’s telephone plant was achieved in 2000, before countries like Spain and the United States. This significant advancement benefited service quality and allowed a substantial expansion of the company’s service offering. The company’s CEO, Héctor Slim Seade, says: “We live in an era of connectivity, where telecommunications represent the nervous system, so it is essential that as a country, we should have a state-of-the-art network in continuous expansion and evolution, and all of us should be connected through fixed and mobile networks in the whole country”.
Wide reaching networks
Telmex networks operate with a state-of-the-art technological platform. The networks are constantly evolving in order to incorporate new developments to increase usage efficiency, scalability and support for new and enhanced services, achieving recognition as one of the most modern and reliable networks in the world. Telmex networks are supported by a fibre optic cable infrastructure for both local and long distance networks. Its fibre optic network has grown from 360km in 1999 to more than 140,000km in December 2011. For international communications, Telmex has international submarine cables: an international network with Amèrica Mòvil allowing direct interconnection to 35 countries, enabling Mexico to communicate with the world.
Telmex uses the best technologies available, such as Ethernet networking (based on internet protocol) and has developed a platform that supports information technology and communications (ITC) functions, based on open standards. With this infrastructure in place, Telmex’s telecommunications networks have helped diminish the digital gap in the country, and are well prepared to offer the best in services in voice, data and applications.
These investments were supported by an increase in the training and education levels of employees, from an average of 5.7 years of schooling per employee in 1990 to 16 years in June 2012, which translates to higher productivity and a change in the company’s labour culture. This transformation significantly improved customer service at the same time that it laid the foundation for the transfer and assimilation of new technologies and innovation.
Telmex has multiplied the productivity of the company several times over, which has enabled it to reduce prices to benefit its customers.
Telmex is the main promoter of broadband services and penetration in Mexico. The number of broadband users Telmex serves has reached 8.2 million, a 70 percent average annual growth rate since 2002. This growth has been generated by Telmex’s commitment to technology that reaches all Mexicans. With this support, Mexico is one of the three members among the OECD countries with the highest growth rates. Says Slim Seade: “Providing broadband connection for low income communities requires intense and continuous investment to enhance coverage, capacities and technological innovation.
Equipped with a permanent internet access of 10Gbps, wireless networks and a modern and attractive space, the Telmex Hub deploys state-of-the-art technology that characterises 21st-century technology centres
Telmex invests in state-of-the-art networks to give users access to the world and global information. “Two of the main barriers that affect broadband growth in Mexico are the low income per capita in a considerable part of the population, and the lack of personal computer penetration in Mexican homes. The first barrier for the development of broadband is the per capita income in Mexico, which is around $10,000, compared to the average of $40,800 for the member countries of the OECD.”
For the second barrier, since 1999, Telmex has facilitated the purchase of computers to access the internet. One way Telmex has carried out its objective of promoting digital culture to Mexicans has been the sale of brand-name computers through instalment purchases that customers pay along with their monthly telephone bills. From 1999 to 2011 Telmex has sold more than 3.2 million computers, making it one of the main retailers of personal computers in Mexico.
As a result of this, Telmex has installed more than 5,000 free Wi-Fi móvil en infinitum (one of the largest free Wi-Fi networks in the world) and launched the Driving Technological Innovation Programme in order to bring a better future to Mexico. That programme reinforced the commitment to the development and welfare of all Mexico, with clear goals in connectivity, digital education and culture, and information technologies, reaching the following: Telmex built more than 3,500 Bibliotecas Digitales (computer halls and digital libraries) and granted more than 325,000 Becas Digitales (digital scholarships). With the Education and Culture Programme and the Digital Innovation Drive Technology Programme, Telmex has benefited more than 2.8 million children, teachers and parents with training, educational workshops and special programmes, all without cost. Telmex created Inttelmex IT, a higher education institution supported by the Secretaría de Educación Pública (Mexico’s education ministry) and endorsed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). From 2010 to January 2012, Inttelmex IT trained more than 3,200 professionals at no cost to the students. The purpose of this training was to prepare these professionals to develop technological solutions that respond to the real needs of the economy. Telmex also created Academica, a digital community of knowledge in Spanish that promotes the participation and interaction of students, teachers and researches from higher education institutions and national research centres, in order to create, exchange and share knowledge with free access, powered by Telmex technology.
Meanwhile, Telmex Hub brings together information technology, knowledge and the power of social networks. Equipped with a permanent internet access of 10Gbps, wireless networks and a modern and attractive space, the Telmex Hub deploys state-of-the-art technology that characterises 21st-century technology centres. Telmex’s Centro de Tecnología e Innovación (Technology and Innovation Centre) offers young people access to facilities, equipment and connectivity, personalised advice, first class speakers, support projects, dining and a monthly financial benefit to work on their ideas, with a commitment to turn them into real applications.
Based on the corporate strategy to increase its participation in the ITC – information technology and communications – market, Telmex launched Telmex IT to reach new products and applications for the corporate market that integrates telecommunications and information technologies, incorporating capabilities such as cloud computing, software development, outsourcing, security, consulting and training.
To make these offerings possible, the company applies the experience and support of its TRIARA (Data Centre) and SOC, as well as its Customer Network Operation Centre (CNOC). TRIARA, located in Monterrey and Querétaro, is an internet data centre, and allows Telmex to offer several services like web hosting, co-location and management services in Mexico. In Latin America, TRIARA Querétaro and TRIARA Monterrey are the only data centres certified with Level 5-HSHA-WCQA; that is, High Security High Available World Class Quality Assurance. The recognition was granted by the ICREA (International Computer Room Expert Association) and gives assurance that the web-hosting service of vital and strategic information that TRIARA offers to national and international companies maintains maximum security and availability. Additionally, to support the Mexican population, Telmex created Fundación Telmex with a commitment to support health, education, justice, culture and sports in our country. Among its accomplishments to June 2012 are 844,000 surgeries, 7,300 organ and tissue transplants, 2,600 specialised medical equipment installations related to maternal, neonatal, and child development needs, 93,000 bail bonds, 327,000 bicycles for the ‘Ayúdame a Llegar a la escuela’ (Help Me Get to School) scheme, 29,000 tons of humanitarian help for disaster relief, 13 million bags of nutritional candy, early education manuals, cultural events and support for 1,729 public and private institutions.
Additionally, aware of the importance of sports, Telmex has sponsored several programmes to benefit national sports at all levels, which includes sporting events with a clear social focus like the soccer ‘Copa Telmex’, which in 2011 earned it the Guinness World Record as the biggest amateur soccer tournament (a record it has held for five years) with the participation of 12,341 teams, and other high-performance sports with programs like Telmex Racing Team, which has accumulated more than 220 wins on some of the most iconic race tracks in the world.
“At Telmex, we are committed to providing products and services to our customers with the highest quality standards and, at the same time, to continue investing in order to keep our state-of-the-art company supplied with the most reliable, efficient, modern, and secure network on the market,” says Slim Seade.