Big data tools needed for implementing the Mexican Telecom Reform

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Ibope chooses a group of homes at random to represent the population to obtain data on TV viewers to later report to broadcasters. As reported by Mexican business journal “El Economista“, TV Azteca, second largest broadcasting corporation in Mexico, sued Ibope over the validity of rating results. TV Azteca decided not to bill advertising to its clients based on ratings in the future.

Mexico will finish its migration to digital free-to-air TV by December 31, 2015. This change offers an exclusive opportunity for rating companies to penetrate not a “representative population”, but to collect real-time data of preferences from all viewers. “Peoplemeters” provided by companies like Ibope, certainly could be replaced by either “tuned” digital converters or apps for Smart TVs, as long as privacy rules are complied.

Now, considering that telecom operators are forced by law to must-carry and must-offer (with some exceptions) content broadcasted by TV operators, the spot prices will have more value, as the reach has been expanded beyond its original network. Big data analytics will play a key role in pricing and marketing for telecom companies under this rule.

On the other hand, Article 6 of Mexican Constitution protects the rights of the audience. It is still uncertain how telecom law would regulate (or not) the plurality of content in broadcasting and CATV. It is also uncertain if broadcasters will be forced to program “cultural” content and the rules for considering it as such. However, as TV is becoming more interactive, the right of the audience could be implemented with technical solutions as VOD, PPV or collective interaction of viewers (i.e. through social networks, etc.)

By March 9, 2014, Ifetel, Mexican telecom regulator, must determine which telecom operators are relevant to the market and impose asymmetric regulation or even functional, accounting or structural separation.  For the purposes of the Reform, a relevant operator is the one holding more than 50% in a given relevant market, using metrics of Ifetel for calculating users, subscribers, audience, network traffic or used capacity. In this regard, big data metrics will play essential role for backing up either ruling.

While many parts of telecom regulation are still up in the air in the Congress, the truth is that big data tools are needed for implementing the Reform. Do you have any other unseen opportunity? Let me know.