Cellcos fined over illegal long-distance charges

6 Jul 2004

Venezuela’s four largest mobile operators – Telcel, Movilnet, Digitel and Infonet – have each been fined VEB600 million (USD313,280) by the government for charging some of their customers an additional fee for making long-distance calls within the country. The fees were charged to mobile users calling someone using the same service provider in a different city. The state has ruled the practice illegal as companies are not allowed to charge extra for DLD calls between numbers with the same area code. However, the four cellcos argue that the fees relate to the cost of connecting the user to another city and should therefore be levied.