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Mexico Phone Card News / Mexico Telecom News
Mexico cable industry calls for restrictions on Telmex

Date: 1/21/2008 5:49:44 PM

Mexicos cable television industry on Monday asked the government to place restrictions on Telmex, the countrys largest fixedline phone company, before allowing it to offer television service.

The National Cable Industry Chamber, or CANITEC, said in fullpage advertisements published in local newspapers that Telmex, owned by billionaire Carlos Slim, is in negotiations to change the terms of its concession to be able to offer video as well as phone and Internet services. The three combined are known as "triple play" services.

CANITEC said it was concerned Telmex could use its market power to become a dominant force in the payTV market, and called on the government to declare Telmex and Slims mobile company Telcel "dominant," which would allow for stricter regulation of the two.

Telmex "has to be subject to regulations that promote balance and sustainable competition," the ad said.

Several cable companies, which already had broadband Internet and TV service, began offering phone service last year.

Under conditions placed on Telmex at that time, the phone company may not offer video until it puts in place interconnection services and number portability that would allow Telmex customers to keep their same numbers if they switch to a different phone service provider. Telmex executives have said they expect to start offering triple play this year.

Telmex spokesman Arturo Elias Ayub called the ad "ridiculous" and said the cable industry is trying to block competition.

"Cable television companies have been regional monopolies for 40 years," Elias Ayub said. "What they want to do is tie our hands so that there is no competition."

Telmex dominates the fixedline telecommunications industry with more than 90 percent of the countrys lines and an important share of the broadband Internet market.

Mexicos cable industry comprises more than 200 companies but cable operators enjoy regional cableTV monopolies.

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