Thu. Dec 7th, 2023
Starlink Wins Contract to Provide Satellite Internet in Remote Areas of Mexico

Starlink, the connectivity company owned by entrepreneur Elon Musk, has secured a new contract with CFE Telecomunicaciones e Internet para Todos, a state-owned company, to enable satellite internet in remote areas of the country that are currently underserved by these services.

The satellite internet provision contract won by Starlink has a minimum value of 778.039 million pesos and a maximum value of 1.556 million pesos. The service started on October 30th of this year and will be valid until December 31st, 2026, according to the document issued by CFE Telecomunicaciones e Internet para Todos.

The bidding process for the contract lasted for 13 days, with the call for bids published on October 13th and the decision made on October 26th. Although the bidding was open to any company, only Starlink applied and had to improve its economic proposal to secure the contract.

As part of the contract, Elon Musk’s company will provide low-earth orbit satellite equipment, as well as low-earth orbit satellite connectivity service, with a monthly service plan of 1 TB at an average speed of 80×10 Mbps.

To ensure the quality of the service, CFE Telecomunicaciones e Internet para Todos stated in the annex of the decision document that quarterly measurements will be conducted to verify that the satellite antennas deliver the contracted speeds, regardless of any other equipment that CFE installs after the initial connection point.

The terminals installed by Starlink for the provision of connectivity services will become part of a CFE subsidiary. The provider must give CFE TEIT web access via the internet to the monitoring portal for the satellite equipment and aggregated network traffic through the PRTG or similar system.

It is worth mentioning that Starlink previously won another bid from Mexico’s state electricity company to provide low-earth orbit satellite backhaul connectivity. The business relationship between Starlink and CFE Telecom began prior to these contracts.

Since February of this year, Starlink antennas have been used to provide free internet services to hard-to-reach areas across the country, thanks to an agreement between Globalsat, a Mexican satellite company that also distributes and resells these types of connectivity services, and Starlink. This agreement was to fulfill the one-year contract that Globalsat obtained with CFE Telecomunicaciones e Internet para Todos to bridge the digital divide.

Globalsat has won two bids from CFE Telecomunicaciones to provide connectivity in remote sites. The first contract required connecting 2,500 sites with 500 inhabitants in the northern and southeastern regions of the country, of which 250 have the Starlink service. It is estimated that the first phase of connected communities has benefitted 1,250,000 people.

CFE Telecom has previously stated that it sought commercial agreements with Starlink for internet purposes due to the satellite company’s ideal technical characteristics for the digital divide closure project pursued by the current administration.