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Mexico’s Efforts to Deepen Financial Inclusion Start with Satellite

Stargroup Mexico digital divide project

Education. Prosperity. Health and wellness. Financial security. It all starts with connectivity. That’s the vision of the Mexican government’s Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) Telecomunicaciones e Internet para Todos––an initiative to bridge the digital divide and close a wide range of social disparities, like access to financial services. The government’s priority is to extend internet access to every municipality in Mexico, so that schools, health care clinics, banks, convenience stores and entire communities can get connected.

Stargroup, a Mexican telecommunications and entertainment company, partners with Hughes to enable CFE to achieve its goals. Stargroup chose the Hughes JUPITER™ System, with its managed broadband service and high-performing ground system, to extend LTE service connectivity across areas of the country outside the reach of cable, fiber and DSL. Together, Stargroup and Hughes are also deploying Community Wi-Fi solutions to connect specific enterprises, sites and neighborhoods and solve a range of challenges.

For example, many of the more than 20 million Mexicans who live and work in the United States send money to their families back home. Because most rural Mexican communities do not have local banks, families must rely on larger commercial banks––which charge high fees for cross-country wire transfers. The government’s mission is to get these rural areas connected and help microbanks establish community-based branches and smart ATM networks. With local banks and reduced fees, families can keep more of their money, potentially boosting their financial security and ability to prosper. To date, Stargroup, Hughes and CFE have connected 400 of these new bank branches––with plans to connect 800 more. In addition to Stargroup’s deployments, several other service providers employ Hughes JUPITER System technology to connect more than 7,200 communities across Mexico.

As the World Bank noted, the lack of financial services and credit in rural areas depresses economic activity, perpetuating inequality. Mexico’s efforts to deepen financial inclusion and expand access to finance is alleviating critical bottlenecks for economic growth and reduced poverty––progress made possible by satellite connectivity.

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