Telco watchdog complies with court order to scrap key element of asymmetric regulations

Mexico’s Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (IFT) on Thursday gave the final go-ahead for America Movil to charge interconnection fees.

The telco watchdog held a vote on Thursday to approve the proposed charges that America Movil’s domestic mobile operation, Telcel, can apply.

From 1 January 2018, it will cost operators 0.029 pesos (€0.0013) per minute to terminate calls on Telcel’s network. A fee of MXN0.007 will apply to text messages sent to Telcel’s network. Meanwhile, Telcel will pay MXN0.113 per minute, and MXN0.017 per message to terminate calls and text messages respectively on rivals’ networks.

Draft proposals for the new interconnection fees were revealed in late October.

In a statement, IFT said it based its interconnection fees on a cost methodology that "takes into consideration the natural asymmetries of the networks to be interconnected", resulting in a rate that enables Telcel to cover its costs while limiting the impact on smaller rivals.

Thursday’s move follows a Mexican Supreme Court ruling in August declaring that a law preventing America Movil from charging interconnection fees was unconstitutional. The ruling gave IFT permission to set new termination rates.

The law was a key element of asymmetric regulations imposed on America Movil to curb its dominance of the mobile market.