Transportation and Communications
Mexico's land transportation network is one of the most extensive in Latin America with 357,000 kilometers (221,739 mi.) of paved roads, including more than 11,000 kilometers of four-lane paved roads. The 26,622 kilometers (16,268 mi.) of government-owned railroads in Mexico have been privatized through the sale of 50-year operating concessions.
Mexico's ports have experienced a boom in investment and traffic following a 1993 law that privatized the port system. Mexico's ports moved 3.3 million 20-foot container equivalent units in 2008. Several dozen international airlines serve Mexico, with direct or connecting flights from most major cities in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Latin America. Most Mexican regional capitals and resorts have direct air services to Mexico City or the United States. In 2005, the Government of Mexico agreed to sell Mexicana, one of the two main national airlines, to a private investor, and did the same with Aeromexico in 2007. Airports are semi-privatized with the government still the majority shareholder, but with each regional airport group maintaining operational autonomy.
The telecommunications sector is dominated by Telmex, the former state-owned monopoly. Several international companies compete in the sector with limited success. The fixed line teledensity rate in Mexico (19%) is below average in Latin America. Wireless penetration is much higher (73%), with 78.5 million wireless subscribers in the third quarter of 2009, although 88% of these customers use prepaid cards, and many use their phones to receive calls only. Internet penetration extended to 24.8% of the population as of 2008. Mexico's satellite service sector was opened to competition, including limited foreign direct investment, in 2001.