Telecommunications reform in a developing country : the privaization of Telmex

Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


International Studies

First Advisor's Name

Mark Rosenberg

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Richard Tardanieo

Third Advisor's Name

Mira Wilkins

Date of Defense



The last ten years have witnessed a major trend toward the globalization of economic activity. Telecommunications has driven this process by introducing faster exchanges and diminishing the importance of distance. However, telecommunications has not only evolved into a pervasive element in virtually all business activity, it has also become a key economic development tool for nations embarking on far-reaching liberalization strategies. In addressing the failures of state-owned telecom enterprises to expand and modernize their networks, structural reform in the telecommunications sector, especially in the developing world, has become a veritable worldwide wave of change.

This study reviews the causes and implications of this trend for developing countries. Specifically, the thesis offers an exploratory study of the privatization of the Mexican telephone company, Telmex, focusing on the decision to privatize as a function of broader political and economic determinants. The process of implementing the divestiture, and the consequent form of the telecom sector, is analyzed as a reflection of the Mexican political model and of the macroeconomic circumstances within which privatization occurred.



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