Mexican regulator IFT has unveiled the new rules that it will impose on America Movil in an attempt to undermine the operator’s dominance, thereby improving competition in the market.
America Movil, owned by billionaire Carlos Slim, controls the mobile operator Telcel and the fixed operator Telmex. Both of these operators were deemed “pre-dominant” by the IFT, and have accordingly been hit with new restrictions on roaming charges, unlocked phones and billing.
Telcel has been told that it can no longer charge expensive roaming rates to customers calling from within Mexico. Inter-city calls will be charged at local rates based on where the caller purchased their service.
Meanwhile, if a caller from – for example - Mexico City travels to Monterrey then makes a call back home, this call can no longer incur roaming charges. Instead, it will be charged at domestic long-distance rates. Incoming calls are also no longer subject to roaming charges.
With regard to handsets, IFT stipulated that all devices paid for in full by Telcel customers – either as part of a pre- or post-paid deal – should be unlocked. Customers who acquired their devices before April 6th are entitled to a free unlock for the next 90 days.
Telcel has also been instructed to separate charges associated with telecom and non-telecom services. This will prevent the operator from cutting off the mobile service of customers who keep up to date with mobile bill payments but fall behind in other areas.