Now a major move to open
Allowing cable TV players (and there around 200 of them) to participate is perceived as a positive one for consumers in
Crucial to the success of the proposals is the concept that cable operators will no longer be required by Mexican law to team up with existing telephone companies to offer voice services. This situation has helped Telmex, as most business has been barred from the Mexican market.
In the recent past several key observers of telecoms in
This time the critic is a Mexican official specifically entrusted with an anti-trust agenda, namely Eduardo Perez Motta. As
More specifically, the most difficult aspect for Telmex is "portability," meaning that Telmex must produce a system whereby customers who leave Telmex for telecoms services from a cable TV company must be able to take their numbers with them.
The Director of Legal Affairs for Telmex, Javier Mondragon Alarcon, is concerned about cost: "Who should pay for this portability?" he has demanded. Cable firms, in his opinion, would cherry-pick the Telmex customers in urban areas who paid the most. Those in the rural areas, or who were low spenders, may be ignored by their new suppliers. Telmex, by contrast, was required to supply services to these latter categories.
Eduardo Perez Motta, however, has pushed home his attack, describing the Telmex version as "absolutely false." Number portability is vital - it will help open the telephone market to competition and will make sure it functions smoothly. Telmex must indeed meet this and other requirements if it wants to move into television as a condition of moving into television. Telmex had in the past been over-hesitant when complying with regulators.
"We can't trust them," were the words of an anti-trust campaigner.The next steps
Of course, it is naïve to expect an overnight transformation in Mexican telecoms. Cable TV customers may well change their telephony supplier, but they are little more than 3% of the population.
There is even then the threat of a legal case brought by Telmex. Add together the threat to Telmex plus its track-record of bringing law-suits plus the already overburdened Mexican courts and the sum total is that change will be lost without trace for years in complex litigation.
There is actually some good news. Telmex does support the spirit of the Mexican Government's so-called convergence agreement, which seeks to bring more players into the telecommunications market.