Mexico’s new telecommunications laws were designed to spur competition by limiting how much telecommunications companies can charge. This will be beneficial to individual users – and their wallets.
Everybody is talking about Mexico’s new telecommunications laws and the impact they will have on the country’s telephone and television companies, like Grupo Televisa, and the people who own them, like Carlos Slim, but how will they affect the average consumer?
The new rules must still be signed into law, but they were designed to spur competition by limiting how much telecommunications companies can charge and what kind of exclusivity arrangements they can make. This will be beneficial to individual users – and their wallets. Here’s how:
• Roaming fees are no longer charged by América Móvil, or Telcel, due to its preponderant market position. (This change has been in effect since April.)
• The new laws will make it easier to change one’s service provider, while retaining the same cell number. Within 60 working days of the laws’ taking effect, rules established by the Federal Telecommunications Institute will ensure that changing your carrier and keeping your existing phone number will take no more than 24 hours – and all you’ll need to make the change is your official identification.
• Effective January 1, 2015, you will no longer have to pay any additional costs for domestic long-distance phone service, which should represent a savings to users of approximately $22 million pesos a year.
• The law will also require providers to offer plans that include charges by the second, rather than having to pay for another full minute when your call lasts, say, 72 seconds.
• Unused airtime will no longer expire within two or three months. Instead your credit will “roll over” for at least one year. Also, providers will not be allowed to charge for calling to check the amount of airtime you have left.
• There will be a system for users’ complaints against providers whose service doesn’t meet set standards.
• Contracts can be canceled within 60 days without penalty if the provider of your phone service modifies the original contractual conditions.
The new legislation was approved by the lower house of Mexico’s Congress on July 2014, but we are still waiting for its official proclamation and publication.
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